Almost half of the world's food thrown away, report finds
Figures from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers show as much as 2bn tonnes of food never makes it on to a plate
Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent guardian.co.uk, Thursday 10 January 2013 07.55 GMT Between 30% and 50% or 1.2-2bn tonnes of food produced around the world never makes it on to a plate. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian As much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2bn tonnes – ends up as waste every year, engineers warned in a report published on Thursday.
The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) blames the "staggering" new figures in its analysis on unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, along with "poor engineering and agricultural practices", inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities.
In the face of United Nations predictions that there could be about an extra 3 billion people to feed by the end of the century and growing pressure on the resources needed to produce food, including land, water and energy, the IMechE is calling for urgent action to tackle this waste.
Their report, Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not, found that between 30% and 50% or 1.2-2bn tonnes of food produced around the world never makes it on to a plate.
In the UK as much as 30% of vegetable crops are not harvested due to their failure to meet retailers' exacting standards on physical appearance, it says, while up to half of the food that is bought in Europe and the US is thrown away by consumers.
And about 550bn cubic metres of water is wasted globally in growing crops that never reach the consumer. Carnivorous diets add extra pressure as it takes 20-50 times the amount of water to produce 1 kilogramme of meat than 1kg of vegetables; the demand for water in food production could reach 10–13 trillion cubic metres a year by 2050.
This is 2.5 to 3.5 times greater than the total human use of fresh water today and could lead to more dangerous water shortages around the world, the IMechE says, claiming that there is the potential to provide 60-100% more food by eliminating losses and waste while at the same time freeing up land, energy and water resources.
Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the IMechE, said: "The amount of food wasted and lost around the world is staggering. This is food that could be used to feed the world's growing population – as well as those in hunger today. It is also an unnecessary waste of the land, water and energy resources that were used in the production, processing and distribution of this food."
In order to prevent further waste, governments, development agencies and organisation like the UN "must work together to help change people's mindsets on waste and discourage wasteful practices by farmers, food producers, supermarkets and consumers," the IMechE said.
• This article was amended on 10 January 2012 to change the abbreviation IME to IMechE.
By Absolute truth
How Prophet Muhammad Reprimanded Children
“Stop it, you nuisance!”
Is it not considered ‘normal’ in most societal circles today for
adults to address minor children in such a tone, and with derogatory
Parents, teachers, and other caregivers can lose their patience with
the naughty mischiefs of children very quickly, especially if these
children are extremely intelligent, curious, energetic, bold,
self-confident and spirited.
Children are a big blessing of God. Having children and raising them
righteously lays the foundation of a stable extended family structure.
Whilst most of us are well-aware of and regularly exhort the great
rights of parents in Islam, we tend to overlook the fact that little
children are also born with certain Islamic rights that we have
to fulfill as an obligation. Even the unseen, unheard fetus in the womb
has rights, which can delay the distribution of inheritance, as well as
affect the rulings regarding divorce in Islam.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) handled many situations
involving the antics and natural tendencies of infants and minor
children with exemplary patience and good-naturedness.
As God has commanded us in the Quran to emulate Prophet Muhammad as a
ticket to earning His ultimate pleasure with us in the Hereafter, we
should see how the Prophet corrected or reprimanded small children
whenever they did something that could, in the modern world, severely
test the patience and tolerance of most stressed-out, quick-to-snap
Tolerance for Infant Messes
Babies under the age of one are cuddly, chubby and adorable; bundles
of joy that everyone loves to hold, kiss, hug, coo over and carry
That is, until they do something smelly and leaky in their diaper.
As soon as that happens, the hitherto adoring adult (especially a
male one) who is holding them, immediately scrunches up their nose in
disgust and hands them over to the mother or nanny for cleanup.
However, this was not what the Prophet did in such a situation. He
would often take infants in his lap, even though in that era there were
no leak-proof diapers!
“A boy was brought to the Prophet to do tahnik for him, but the boy urinated on him, whereupon the Prophet had water poured on the place of urine.” (Al-Bukhari)
Prophet Muhammad refrained from expressing disgust or immediately
denying a newborn baby his lap even when the baby urinated on his
clothes! This indicates his exemplarily high level of tolerance for
babies’ natural phases, as it is normal for newborns to urinate often.
The lesson for us in this habit of Prophet Muhammad is to not get
irritated at the natural, physical messes that babies tend to make (such
as nose emissions, excreta, or regurgitated milk), even if the mess
gets on our clothes. We should also help clean up the mess without
considering it beneath our social dignity to do so.
Tolerating Natural Toddler Antics
Babies grow older to become active and energetic toddlers (known
nowadays as ‘preschoolers’), who love climbing on to the laps and backs
of adults and playing “rough house”.
It is well known that the Prophet not just allowed children in this age-range inside his masjid
during obligatory congregational prayers, but also patiently tolerated
their antics during prayers, even if these antics caused noise or
Reported by Abdullah ibn Shaddad from his father:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came out to lead us in either maghrib or ‘isha’ one night, and he was carrying Hassan or Husain. The Messenger of Allah came forward and put (the child) down, then he said takbir and started to pray. During the prayer, he prostrated and made his prostration long.
My father said: “I raised my head and I saw the child on the back of
the Messenger of Allah whilst he was prostrating, so I returned to my
When the Messenger of Allah finished praying, the people said:
“O Messenger of Allah, during your prayer you prostrated for so long
that we thought something had happened or that you were receiving
Nothing at all happened, but my son was riding on my back and I did not want to disturb him until he had had enough. (An-Nisa’i)
This hadith is another great example of how tolerant the
Prophet was regarding children’s naughtiness. Imagine a small child in
the age-range 2-4 (who can be carried easily) climbing on to the back of
a masjid’s imam during prostration nowadays. What do you think his reaction would be?
Yet, Prophet Muhammad lengthened his prostration just to let
the child continue his enjoyment and innocent play, hereby causing some
concern and undoubtedly a bit of chagrin to the worshippers praying
behind him in the congregation.
Using His Hands Gently to Reprimand
Children love physical displays of affection, and like being touched
in a positive manner. Instead of subjecting them to long monologues and
lectures to correct their mistakes, physically removing them from harm
is more effective.
Narrated Abu Hurairah:
“Dates used to be brought to Allah’s Messenger immediately after
being plucked. Different persons would bring their dates till a big heap
collected (in front of the Prophet). Once Al-Hassan and Al-Husain were
playing with these dates, one of them took a date and put it in his
mouth. Allah’s Messenger looked at him and took it out from his mouth
and said: “Don’t you know that Muhammad’s offspring do not eat what is
given in charity?” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet taking the date out of his grandson’s mouth himself
whilst giving him a short explanation of the reason, deployed the most
effective strategy of quickly resolving the situation. Which small child
would willingly spit a tasty, sweet date out from their mouth
Most parents today, however, keep shouting at a small child to not
touch an object or to stay away from a dangerous area, all the while
being ignored by the child. They then snap and give the child a harsh
scolding in front of everyone for not listening to them.
The lesson from this hadith about the correct thing to do in
such a situation is for an adult to get up quickly and physically
remove the small child from harm, warning them about the reason in brief
The hadith below also corroborates this strategy:
“Allah’s messenger was one of the best of men in character. One day,
he sent me to do something, and I said: “I swear by Allah that I will
not go”. But in my heart I felt that I should go to do what the Prophet
of Allah had commanded me. So I went out and came upon some boys who
were playing in the street. All of a sudden Allah’s Messenger, who had
come up behind, caught me by the back of the neck, and when I looked at
him, he was laughing. He said: “Go where I ordered you, little Anas”. I
replied: “Yes, I am going, messenger of Allah!” (Abu Dawud)
Prophet Muhammad used a combination of physical touch and gentle
reprimanding words to make little Anas realize his forgetfulness. The
Prophet knew that it is natural for a little boy to get distracted from
an errand by other children’s street games.
This hadith also indicates that when a child passes the
toddler stage, it is permissible to train them to do light, easy tasks
for adults, but to remember that it is normal for him or her to resist
immediate obedience and to get distracted by other children’s play.
Explaining Concisely for Correction
the Prophet would gently and concisely correct them and explain…
When a child becomes older i.e. beyond the age of 6-7, he or she
reaches the age of mentally understanding what is right and what is
wrong. When he encountered such a child doing something the wrong way,
the Prophet would gently and concisely correct them and explain to them
how to do it right, without scolding harshly or making them feel
humiliated in front of others.
Umar ibn Abu Salamah reported:
“I was a boy under the care of the Messenger of Allah, and as my hand used to wander around in the dish, he said to me once:
“Mention Allah’s Name (i.e., say Bismillah), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is in front of you.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Little children have short attention spans, high energy levels, and
an extremely curious nature due to which they want to explore everything
in the world, most of which is still very new to them. However, we can
misinterpret their natural actions and reactions to situations in a
negative manner, unless we proactively practice patience with their
behavior without belittling, rebuking or reprimanding them harshly and
Because little children are a sacred trust from God, we should remind
ourselves not to be harsh with them. God is not even writing their
“sins” yet, even if they deliberately break a precious piece of
crockery, or touch anything in our cupboards or drawers that we have
kept strictly off limits.
As parents, if we lose patience with our children and treat them
wrong, we should immediately and sincerely repent for it before Allah.
Parents who do not regret nor repent for the wrongs they committed
towards their children when the latter were young, weak and dependent
upon them, end up being faced with resentful and aloof offspring in
their old age, because their little ones grew up with disturbing
childhood memories that morphed into a deep grudge over the years.
By regularly reading and studying the Prophet’s loving and mild
behavior with children, we can prevent ourselves from treating children
in a manner that could displease God and detriment our relationship with
them in the long term.
Ramadan Food: When And What To Eat
Ramadan (in Arabic: رمضان, Ramadān) is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During the whole month, faithful observers of Islam fast from sunrise (Sahour) to sunset (Iftar). During the fast, no food or drink is consumed, and thoughts must be kept pure. Followers of Islam believe that fasting helps the Muslim learn patience, modesty, and spirituality. Meals are served before sunrise and after sunset, and eaten with family or with the local community.
The elderly, sick, and mentally ill are exempt from the fasting. Also exempt are pregnant women, women during the period of their menstruation, and women nursing their newborns. In some Muslim communities, people who miss the fasting portion of Ramadan are expected to compensate by feeding the poor and unfortunate during the suhoor and iftar meals.
In 2009, Ramadan ends on September 20th. The Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles, so it retrogresses about two weeks backwards every year. In 2010, Ramadan will be closer to the middle of the summer. The fast is strictly observed, even in higher latitudes. Muslims living in Northern Europe or Canada have to fast longer than Muslims living in the Middle East due to daylight hours being longer.
During Ramadan, two main meals are served; the suhoor, which is served before dawn, and the iftar, which is served after sunset. Since the suhoor is intended to last one throughout the day, it tends to be a heavy and hearty meal. Suhoor ends when the sun rises and the fajr, or morning prayer, begins. At the end of the day, when the sun sets, the maghrib prayer starts, and the day's fast is broken with the iftar meal. Many Muslims break their fast by eating dates before beginning the iftar meal. Muslims can continue eating and drinking throughout the night until the next day's suhoor. At the end of the Ramadan month, Muslims celebrate the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, called Eid al-Fitr.
Both of the suhoor and iftar meals contain fresh fruit, vegetables, halal meats, breads, cheeses, and sweets. Remember that the Muslim world is large and is not only in the Middle East; there are Muslims worldwide in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The types of food served vary by region. The meals are served either at home with family, or in the community Masjids, or other designated places within the Muslim community.
Some foods that may be served at a Ramadan suhoor or iftar:
Dates, pistachios, other nuts, and dried fruits
Fresh seasonal fruits
Fresh seasonal vegetables
Chabbakia - a dessert made of fried dough flavored with orange blossom water and coated with sesame seeds and honey. (Morocco)
Paomo - a bread & mutton soup (China)
Ramazan Kebabi - a dish made with lamb, onions, yogurt, and pita bread. (Turkey)
Sherbet - the world's first soft drink, developed in the Ottoman Empire. Sherbets are made from fruit juices, extracts of flowers, or herbs, and combined with water and sugar. (Turkey)
Chapatis - unleavened flatbread that is rolled up with vegetables and meats. (India and Pakistan)
Lavash - a soft, thin crackerbread. (Armenia, Azerbaijan)
Fattoush - a salad made of vegetables and pita bread. (Lebanon and Arab countries)
Tabbouleh - a salad made with fresh tomatoes, parsley, garlic, and bulgur wheat. (Middle East)
Khyar Bi Laban - cucumber and yogurt salad (Middle East)
Chorba - lamb stew with tomatoes and chickpeas (Morocco)
Fasulia - stew with green beans and meat (North Africa and the Middle East)
Bamia - a stew made with meat and okra (North Africa and the Middle East)
Mujadarra - a dish made with rice and lentils (Middle East)
Konafah - a pastry made with phyllo dough and cheese (Middle East)
Qatayef - a type of Arabic pancake filled with sweet cheese and nuts (Saudi Arabia, Palestine)
Ful medammes - fava beans cooked with garlic and spread on bread (North Africa)
Kolak - a fruit dessert made with palm sugar, coconut milk, and pandanus leaf. Fruits such as jackfruit or banana are added, or mung beans. (Indonesia)
Haleem - a porridge made of meat, wheat, and lentils. (India)
Paneer cheese (Persia and India)
Jalebi - deep-fried dough batter soaked in syrup. (Pakistan)
Shabi kebab - fried patties of ground meat and chickpeas. (India and Pakistan)
• Allrecipes has a good list of Ramadan recipes here.
• More Ramadan recipes, via AsiaRecipe.
• The Boston Globe's Big Picture Blog has wonderful photos of Ramadan food and activities here.
If you are currently traveling in a Muslim country or live in a Muslim neighborhood, please recognize that right now is a holy time for Muslims and they are fasting during daylight hours. If you need to purchase food or drink during fasting hours, please be respectful and carry them in a non-see-through bag back to your home or hotel room where you can consume them in privacy.
Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about Ramadan and meeting Muslims in person, many Masjids and Islamic cultural centers have community outreach programs where they invite non-Muslims to enjoy an iftar meal with the other members of the Masjid. Be sure to check beforehand what the dress code is, as women may need to cover their arms and/or head. Here is a primer on Muslim etiquette.
I am attending a Ramadan Open House Iftar meal in San Francisco this weekend. I discovered it by doing a Google search for "Ramadan Iftar Outreach San Francisco."
As-Salāmu `Alaykum - "May peace be upon you."
(Images: Premshree Pillai, Hamed Saber, Binnur's Turkish Cookbook, Raja Islam, Ghadeer Alqattan, Vit Hassan, and Amazon - thanks!)
Adapted from: http://www.thekitchn.com/ramadan-when-its-ok-to-eat-and-94989
Time Has Come: Tips For Women in Ramadan
Tips and Advice
By Rasha Dewedar
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 00:00
While Sha'ban is approaching its end, Muslims all over the world start counting down for Ramadan with unprecedented motivation and high hopes to do many things; to get the maximum of this holy month.
However, good intentions are not enough!
Muslim women like everyone else have high expectations for the blessed month, as well as more loads and duties.
Achieving what you want in Ramadan is strongly related to time management and realistic plans.
Women have more duties in Ramadan, especially if they are working, however, they still have several opportunities for getting rewards, which makes it even more important for them to arrange and coordinate diversity of activities only in one month.
Charity is a widely open door in which women can participate by different ways. Cooking food for needy people, collecting money from relatives and friends for charitable reasons, among other activities.
Women have also a very important and crucial role in helping their children understand what Ramadan is all about, and in organizing activities and entertaining activities relevant to the holy month.
Ramadan is considered an excellent opportunity for kids to live 30 days in a comprehensive experience that includes fasting, praying, playing, and helping others either physically or financially.
Time management is not only how you manage your time in Ramadan, but extends to how you manage to decrease your tasks and duties during the holy month.
Everyone has different priorities, abilities, and circumstances, nevertheless, you can tailor the following tips to your life style.
Pray that Allah grants you Baraka in your time.
Don't go to one of the extremes; don't put very high expectations that you are unlikely to make, be always sure you are not a superwoman (no one actually is). You are not helpless as well, you can achieve a lot if you put realistic plan that goes along with your abilities, responsibilities, and circumstances.
Make it simple, don't overwhelm yourself with lists of food items you should prepare everyday on Iftar, just make sure meals are nutritious and have all necessary elements.
Get your kitchen prepared; prepare different ingredients for meals before Ramadan, so that in Ramadan, you just do the final steps.
For example, prepare in your fridge a good amount of onions, garlic, and tomato sauce.
Get meat and chicken washed and spiced.
Prepare some homemade drinks like hibiscus, and leave them in the fridge.
Keep your home organized; this way you can get things easier and save time of searching for items.
Set your priorities; Put your plan starting with basic tasks followed by less important to 'you'.
Don't schedule what you think less prior, just focus on more important things and get them done efficiently.
Put a schedule to your appointments and visits; avoid unnecessary outings, and put definite dates and times if you can.
Make it clear to your family and friends that Ramadan is a very special time to you and that you'd rather give more time to prayers and related activities and you can postpone gatherings and errands and do it afterwards.
Be smart when you invite; inviting guests to Iftar no doubt has a great thawab, and spread happiness to both you and your guests, and it can be a great load as well, unless you have a good plan for it.
Cook simple meals that do not need much time or effort. Prepare some or most of the dishes one day before if you can, so you don't have all the work on the same day.
Get someone to help you with preparing, lifting, and washing the dishes if feasible, and if you have kids, let them help you as well.
Dish parties are an excellent choice in this case, where everyone gets a dish and you all share cooking and you also share thawab.
Make a checklist in which you put basic duties as well as extra activities, and make one for each child, this will act as a good reminder as well as an alert if you put too much or too less tasks.
Don't say tomorrow, if you have a task, do it immediately, this will even give you a push to do more.
Take some rest; enough sleeping hours are very important for you to be able to complete the whole month with the same pace.
Eat well; healthy food will give you the energy to work, pray, and do all your duties.
Avoid eating junk food and food with big amount of fats as much as you can, this kind of diet will make you more sleepy and lazy in addition to its health hazards.
After managing your time a way or another, help others to do the same, especially family members.
Exercise; many people think Ramadan is absolutely the wrong time to exercise, this is not true. You can have few minutes of stretching or any kind of work outs that makes your body stronger and make you feel better.
For Working Women:
Needless to say that working women have a harder job that need more care and control.
The good news however, is that working women are mostly used to time management, checklists, and arranging tasks beforehand.
Working efficiently is an important gate to Paradise, so be always sure that you are doing a great job which will essentially reflect on your psychology in a positive way.
Set your schedule carefully, according to your working hours so that you have adequate time to sleep, work, and good time to spend with your family.
Make use of the time of breaks and transportation in reading Qur'an and Dhikr.
Help your Muslim colleagues make the most of the holy month by exchanging information, and encouraging each other.
Get your family involved; you can get the help of your family members in household responsibilities.
You should always know that time management is not a tool for more duties to accomplish. It's rather a system that helps you having a clear vision of what you want to do, identify your responsibilities, feel productive, which will finally grant you control over your life with a sense of empowerment.
I have a small doubt that does chewing gum contains pork cuz some of my friends yes and some said only in some chewing gums!! Am from India so popular chewing gum consumed by teenagers is "boomer"," big bubble" I know names are funny:P so anyone help to confirm about this!!!! Thanks in advance!!:)