It’s a fact. According to the FAO, Americans waste as much food at the table as South/SE Asians lose in their entire supply chain from farm to table! Put another way, individual Americans throw away 10-15 times more food than South/SE Asians. And that wastage is one driver for the global rise in food prices. Reading articles like The New Geopolitics of Food, you find a lot of concern over for instance the masses of Chinese who want to give their children a taste of milk, and the effect of that on the food supply, but what of the American throwing out half a bowl of milk with the remains of his Froot Loops? Living As Muslims reminds us of the Holy Quran saying “…and waste not by extravagance. Verily, He loves not those who waste by extravagance!” [Qur’an 6:141] [via The Global Food Outlook]

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

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  1. Asalaamu Alaikum

    Two things I noticed in Malaysia is that parents feed their children rather than allowing them to eat by themselves which is less wasteful but on the other hand if food is left uneaten they throw it out rather than wrap it up and save it for later.

  2. Malaysians are the chubbiest people in SE Asia – it wouldn’t surprise me if they were the most wasteful of food too. Part of it is directly related to income, and the percentage of it taken up by food purchases. Malaysians score high and low respectively compared to their neighbors in the region and it’s reflected pretty accurately in their waistlines and “lifestyle” diseases like diabetes. Actually I’d like to see a chart like that controlled for national per capita income…

  3. I have had my mother-in-law from Turkey staying with us for the past 2.5 months and some of her eating habits made me think of this issue. She eats a lot less wastefully than we do — even though we eat everything from the plate. For example, she would request from the butchers various cuts of meat that he would normally discard. In the garden too, when thinning out the vegetables, the weak plants end up in the saucepan, not on the compost heap. I suppose it comes from the hard times they lived in less prosperous times.

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