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Almost Half Of The World's Food Thrown Away, Report Finds

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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

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.

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This truly is a waist. I once saw a show I don't remember what channel where people would scavenge food from restaurant that was fine to eat but not good enough for the restaurant to use. All the good that could be done with that wasted food. There is no reason in my opinion for starving people. 

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    • By Noora.
      The Purpose Of Eating
      Issues and manners which have been forgotten
      The purpose of eating
      When we have our breakfast, lunch, dinner and all those snacks in between, are we aware of the implications that such a simple and casual act can have, both in our lives in this world and in the hereafter? On its most basic level, the purpose of eating is to survive. When hunger strikes, we seek sustenance in order to gain energy, and to provide the nourishment needed to live. For a Muslim, eating has more purposeful meaning. It goes beyond our base desires of filling our stomachs. Islam is ultimately about submitting to the will of our Creator, and worshipping Him. Like other acts of a Muslim, if properly applied, eating can also be an act of worship. It can be the means of nourishing and equipping our bodies in order to worship Allah better.
      The enjoyment of food
      Food, as in any other provision, is a gift and a trust from Allah. If not used in the way that Allah wants, it is a betrayal of that trust.
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      Like the heart, we can either enslave it or let it enslave us. By curbing our appetites and being mindful of our eating habits, we do not give in to excesses in our desire for food and drink. By being vigilant and giving the act of eating its due priority, we do not let our appetites become our masters.
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      The mother of diseases?
      It may be astonishing to discover that the mother of diseases is eating. The desire for what is originally intended as a simple and basic act of survival, can be manipulated by shayateen. It is not an exaggeration to say that the implications of such a seemingly harmless act, if corrupted, can go beyond causing health disorders, it can cause social illnesses. The more we fill the stomach out of desire rather than necessity, the more it empties the heart. We build habits which have nothing to do with Islam, but rather originate from habits and culture. We are stuck with our own eating styles without wanting to sample or even consider better eating habits and types of food. Instead of following the sunnah, households eat according to their heritage, each culture believing that their food is the best. This unwillingness to break out of our cultural and habitual fixation breeds arrogance. In terms of mannerism, how many of us become angry and moody if food is not cooked in a way that we like, or is served late? How many of us become irritable if we do not get to eat what we desire? How many of us still insist on eating the type of cuisine enjoyed by our ethnic origins, even if there is an abundance of alternatives? When we get consumed by the madness of eating, we create harmful addictions. Many of us are addicted to caffeine, spices, fizzy drinks, sugar and food cooked only in a specific cultural style. There is also addiction to unhealthy food, which regardless of the harmful side effects, we deliberately and blissfully feast in large quantities. It is not surprising that these actions result in physical problems - side effects such as cholesterol and becoming overweight, heart problems and diabetes are common in society today.
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      We are a guardian of our bodies, and we will be asked about what we did to preserve our bodies in good health and shape in order to worship Allah. We should not betray the trust given to us. If we die from these eating related diseases, we will be questioned about why we caused it to happen.
      Competing in the kitchen?
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      Thanks for reading, all feedback welcome! :)
    • By Saracen21stC
      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.
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      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)
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      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.
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      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

    • By Saracen21stC
      Time Has Come: Tips For Women in Ramadan
      Tips and Advice

      By Rasha Dewedar
      Freelance Writer-Egypt
      Wednesday, 11 July 2012 00:00

      Ramadan Mubarak!

      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.
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      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.
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      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.
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      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.

      Source: http://www.onislam.n...in-ramadan.html

    • By MohammedAyaz
      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!!:)