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Scrutiny
  
Dare you waste it
Mind your wallet if you waste...
02/04/2009

If you are planning to eat Japanese food at Hayashi Ya Japanese restaurant on the Upper West Side of the US, be careful not to leave even bits and pieces of it on your platter. Or else you may end up paying $27.75 instead of $26.95. Amazed! The Hayashi Ya restaurant charges 3% extra if there are leftover of food in your plate. This may seem very weird to most in West who make it a norm to waste much of the food they order for. And it isn’t a home-grown hypothesis. WCBS TV confirms that 27% of all food in the US finds itself in trash bin (works out to a pound of food every day for every American), while Stockholm Water Institute study extends this figure up to 30% or food worth around $48 billion annually. This amusing food-wasting habit of the West leads to annual wastage of 30 million tons of food. However, the UNEP 2009 report depicts an even more grim picture. Food waste in the US could be as high as 50% which means around one-fourth of all fresh fruits and vegetables is wasted between the field and belly. Among all the food-wasted, 15% are never opened in spite of being within expiry date.

To make the matter worse, rather horrifying, this phenomenon is not just confined to the US but can be felt and found across the globe. Consider this: half of Australia’s landfill is made out of food waste. Likewise more than 30% (worth £10 billion) of all food purchased in the UK never reaches destination (read: the stomach), 30% of total fish is lost in Africa due to discards, post-harvest loss and spoilage. If one collects all the food found in bins in the UK, the whole of Wembley stadium can be covered eight times in a year! Japan leads the race hands down by wasting 20 million tons of food annually. The other side of the story is even more interesting. The University of Arizona believes that if Americans cut their food waste by 50%, it would reduce the environmental impact by 25%, while researches in the UK estimate that if food wastage is contained, the reduction in CO2 emission would be equivalent to pulling off 20% of cars from the UK’s roads! The whole contention of donating 0.7% of GDP to developing countries will be redundant if the Hayashi Ya model is replicated all across. What an idea Hayashi Ya!

By:- Sray Agarwal
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