Ever wondered what life would be like if humans were incapable of feeling hunger? Imagine we did not know what hunger felt like. How different would the world be then?
There would be no need to grow food, no farms, no agriculture and certainly no fancy restaurants or fast food joints. And without the compulsion of having to put food on the plates for their family, the desire to work would be lost.
In short, the world would remain stagnant with people having no desire to work thereby stalling progress.
So the importance of hunger goes far beyond our perception. It is at the root of every progress and development that humans have ever made.
Hunger is the most predominant factor to every living creature. It is possible to live without good clothes or a even a roof over our head but it is impossible to live when you haven’t eaten a good meal in days. It is probably for this reason that among the three basic needs of life –Food, clothing and shelter- Food is placed first.
Unfortunately, even today, a large part of the human population is deprived of this basic necessity while a smaller more fortunate part is obliviously contributing to their misery.
Did you know about every 1 in 9 people go to bed hungry every night? That’s approximately 750 million people in the world suffering from chronic hunger.
For most fortunate people like us, the word ‘chronic hunger’ is almost as foreign as Anorexia or Asperger.
In India, the picture is no better. With over 21 percent of children wasted-low weight for height, India has been ranked 100th among 119 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), behind North Korea, Bangladesh and even Nepal. This coming from a country that is one of the largest producers of food and milk in the world.
When I first heard that a child can be fed healthy meals for an entire year for as low as Rs.950 I was surprised. It was the same day I had a corporate lunch with my office team at a fancy restaurant. The per head cost for the lunch outing was roughly Rs.1000. Of which nearly half was wasted. The leftovers were directly dumped into the dustbins. The comparison was hard-hitting.
I know of this cafe near my workplace, where a little whiteboard near the dumpster indicates the amount of food that was found in it at the end of the previous day. The day I visited that place, it read 151.5Kgs. And below that board, there was a line written in bright red “This could have fed 200 hungry children.”
The café had taken this little step to bring awareness among its customers of how big the problem of hunger and food wastage is. It is only then that I wondered, how big a difference would we be able to make if each of us took a pledge to never waste food again. To only fill our plates with an amount of food that we are sure we can consume.
As a great man once said, “Throwing away food is like stealing food from the plate of the poor and hungry”