When less food is more

When less food is more
For locals and visitors alike, there's so much to choose from here and often just not enough time to sample all the recommendations.

Being a foodie capital is an asset. Universally, a wide range of glorious and affordable food enhances the liveability of a city.

For locals and visitors alike, there's so much to choose from here and often just not enough time to sample all the recommendations. But there's the rub: It is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Despite the risk of ruining one's Sunday appetite, it is useful to consider two pressing issues: a growing pile of food waste and creeping obesity.

Last year, food dumped hit a record of 796,000 tonnes, up 13 per cent from 2012. According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, more than a billion tonnes of food go to waste every year, mostly in wealthy nations.

Restaurant Association of Singapore president Andrew Tjioe believes the prime wasters are those preparing and consuming buffets and catered banquets. Should Singaporeans be weaned off them?

Food is to be enjoyed, of course, and dining out offers moments of occasional indulgence. But moderation should be the rule rather than the exception.

One in nine Singaporeans between 18 and 69 years old was obese in 2010, and the obesity rate is on the rise. This is worrying as obesity is linked to a host of chronic health problems.

As much as good food is to be celebrated, can the food culture here also reflect the spirit of conservation and sharing? Some ideas worth chewing over: Offer the option of smaller portions at lower prices at eateries, provide lunch boxes instead of buffet spreads for organised group meals, help make takeaways of unfinished food socially acceptable, and give unexpired leftover food to welfare groups.

Supermarkets and confectionaries elsewhere lower prices of perishables at the end of the day. Why not here? The food business is indeed competitive but if foodies lend a helping hand, there could well be a growing appetite for worthy social initiatives linked to food.

 


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