World Food Day 2016: Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.

world-food-day-2016

World Food Day Banner. Image credit

October 16 marks World Food Day – a day not celebrated by stuffing ourselves with food, but a global movement to declare our commitment to alleviate hunger. Hunger might not be something that one in Singapore can relate to. With food being a stone’s throw away, we tend to undermine the true value of food. As such, we discard heaps of food without hesitation while others are experiencing chronic hunger.

Growing up, we were often told by our parents to finish our food. To play with our conscience, they would remind us of the starving children in under-developed countries. The common rebuttal from children nowadays is “Finishing my food will not save the people from starvation”. At first thought, this statement sounds rather logical. How can my actions in Singapore affect the lives of those living miles away? (The answer can be found here.) However, upon a deeper level of reflection, one will come to realize that the statement demonstrates one’s lack of ability to perceive the consequence of his/her actions. Hence, there is a need to rectify this fallacy.

Singapore generates 785,500 tonnes of food waste a year — a tremendous amount for a small country equipped with advanced recycling technology! On top of that, only a paltry 13% is recycled! Despite extensive recycling practices in industries, individual recycling rate in Singapore remains low. With only one landfill (Semakau Landfill) left to contain our wastes, continual piling of massive waste will shorten its lifespan. Therefore, there is an urgent need to reduce waste production and to incorporate recycling into our daily lives.

We strongly believe that education is the solution to unnecessary food wastage and low individual food waste recycling rates! By cultivating food waste recycling habits at a young age, we can create a future generation of environmentally-responsible citizens. Schools play a key role in fulfilling this vision. The significant influence of schools on their students have been acknowledged and thus, time and effort have been invested in educating students on food waste reduction.

In 2013, Food from the Heart (FFTH) launched the Clean Plate Campaign to educate students on food waste reduction. To date, 35 schools across Singapore are participating in this movement. The efforts of FFTH volunteers have paid off as schools such as Bukit Panjang Primary School and Punggol Green Primary School have observed positive changes in their students’ food practices.

To assist schools in their fight against food waste, we came up with a line of programs to promote food waste recycling among students. The programs range from assembly talks to learning journeys (to Semakau Landfill). Need a green helping hand in your school? Visit us at https://www.ecoponics.com.sg/food-waste-management/ today!