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Love the Food but Hate the Waste and Dream about Zero Hunger

Food loss campaign aimed at reducing the wastage footprint

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar

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Introduction : The Global population is forecasted  to grow from the current 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050 .  Creating the need for demand , we need to increase our food production . Food is one of the most important drivers of environment pressure , particularly in terms of water , Land and resource use , green house gas emission (CHGs) , pollution and subsequent climate and habitat change . In terms of economic  impacts , food waste represents  high waste  management cost and money wasted . In India 40 % of the food production is wasted . This is as much food waste as the whole the United Kingdom Consumes .

Methodology : I am very passionate about thinking and working to “ Love Food , Hate Waste and Dream Zero Hunger” .  I feel happy  in seeing hungry people with smiles on their faces . I used to spend a lot of time with the people in the Community Market ( Sabji Mandi ) . Everyday there was a common picture , I saw many of them dumping vegetable and food waste into dustbins . I got really worried to see the state of the dustbins . It always upset me when people waste food .  We have thousand s of people in India who go hungry everyday .

I started  for “ Love Food , Hate Waste and Dream Zero Hunger” research work in following steps .

Reduce

  • My organization started to awareness campaigns to prevent food wastage among the consumers of the community market ( Sabji Mandi ).  In the awareness program  the consumer was advised to plan out their meal and make their shopping list to determine  actually need for the week . About 20% of what we buy in urban India ends up being thrown  away . You could in the week after cut down on the surplus and soon in two or three weeks you will have a precise list of your family’s weekly consumption. You have no idea how amazed you will be at how much you buy and what you actually consume. Needless to say that the difference is but naturally wasted.
  • Buy in quantities you can realistically use. Avoid impulse buys. It will more or less find the bin.
  • If you cook at home, make sure you cook keeping in mind there is no excess. You can always complete your meals with a few fruits rather than keep some extra food in the refrigerator. It’s a lot better and a healthier practice too.
  • Select according to their shelf life. Use the green vegetables first.
  • Reuse the refrigerated left- over’s  (if any) for the very next meal.
  • If you work in an office that has a canteen, check with them on how they manage excess food.
  • If you host a family get together either at home, a marriage hall or throw a party at a hotel, make sure you plan for the food to be transported to a place like an orphanage or an old age shelter.
  • Make finishing your plate a habit. Try to inculcate it further to as many possible.

Reuse

Reuse is our recovery program . We started a Bio – gas plant in community market  area (  Sabji Mandi ).It works as follows .

This plant works on similar principles of traditional bio- gas plants with the exception of type of feed with the above modifications.

The waste generated in community market  area (  Sabji Mandi)  in the form of vegetable refuge, stale cooked and uncooked food, extracted tea powder, waste milk and milk products can all be processed in this plant. Based on the understanding of thermophilic microorganisms in particular and microbial processes in general, there are two important modifications made in the conventional design of the biogas plant .

The gas generated in this plant is used for gas lights fitted around the plant. The potential use of this gas would be for market area’s  Tea Stall and Restaurant . The residual of the bio- gas plant the manure generated is high quality and it will  be used in garden and agriculture  fields.

Success of this biogas plant depends a great deal on proper segregation of the market  waste. The materials that can pose problems to the efficient running of plant are coconut shells and coir, egg shells, onion peels, bones and plastic pieces. Steel utensils like dishes, spoons etc. are likely to appear in the waste bags from canteens. While bones, shells and utensils can spoil the mixer physically, onion peels, coir and plastic can have detrimental effects on microbial consortium in the predigester and main digestion tanks which could be disastrous for the plant.

Thus the efficient disposal of market waste can be eco friendly as well as cost effective. While calculating the cost effectiveness of such waste disposal one has to consider more than monitory aspects. The dumping of waste vegetable  in unmanned area may not be very civilized. It can also lead to population growth of nuisance animals. It is undoubtedly unhygienic and can pose threat to the habitat. These factors will add to the value of such plants. Using the natural friends in the form of thermophiles, methanogenic micro-organisms and their consortiums we can certainly handle the market waste and may be other biodegradable waste like paper.

Recycle / Compost

In the community market If the vegetable are not suitable for sales or not suitable for human consumption it will  sent to the bio – gas plant and the residual was generated  manure . The generated manure is high quality . By recycling ,we ensures that the bio – waste does not go to landfill sites thus  preventing environmental damage and improving  agricultural output by improving soil . It is ensured that the pre – consumer waste are fully recycled .

The Process

The operational function of the “Love Food , Hate Waste and Dream Zero Hunger”  research work  are as per Process Flow Diagram

Conclusion

Rising food prices or the prevalent food inflation in India can be effectively evaded by good food waste management practices. If consumers have a fair idea and keep a track of what percentage of food purchased gets discarded as pre-consumer waste, costs can be saved on various fronts like labour, disposal and goods purchased. By increasing individual savings, food waste prevention contributes towards better community. If the resulting bio-waste is not thrown away into landfills but is rather reused and recycled, green house gases like methane which is more harmful than CO2, can be debarred from deteriorating the environment. Also waste reduction would imply using less of fuels for refrigeration, transportation purposes thus preserving the environment. In the process of reducing waste, the society awakens about the sensitive and unrealized issue of food wastage and contributes thus making a positive move towards Food Security .

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

India is often called the land of festivals. Just imagine how much food is wasted in functions, restaurants and other places! It is impossible for anyone to taste this wide array of dishes. It is a social crime as millions in the country are malnourished and go to bed hungry. We are trying an effective solution that anyone can do in any city to reroute the excess food to the needy.

Tell us about your work experience:

We are already in process with a proper design with a view to make a fit of entrepreneurship program in several small pockets for the youth who are achieve the Love Food mission

This post emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm

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Photo of Chad Knutsen

Hello sir, i would be honored to hear your thoughts on our proposal wherein we convert lost foods into amazing ingredients and products! Creating opportunity for producer and farmers, and better nutrition for the People. Also Jobs.

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/ideas/our-sustainable-dehydration-turns-post-harvest-food-waste-into-profits-for-producers-and-nutrition-for-people

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