930 tonnes of food wasted every day in Malaysia

Last Updated: Friday, June 10, 2011 - 22:38

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysians throw away and
waste up to 930 tonnes of unconsumed food daily or the
equivalent of 93,000 ten kg bags of rice each day, experts
have said.

The experts warned that people must change or adapt their
eating habits in the light of rising prices and a looming food
shortage, adding that the country was already experiencing a
food crisis.

Universiti Malaya Prof Dr P Agamuthu said wastage was a
growing trend, adding that almost 50 per cent of the 31,000
tonnes of waste produced daily by Malaysians comprised organic
kitchen waste such as leftover food.

"Malaysians discard about 930 tonnes of unconsumed food
daily. Wastage of unconsumed food alone in Malaysia has
doubled over the past three years. This does not even include
leftover food," he said, adding that the unconsumed waste
mostly consisted of expired bread, eggs and old or rotten
fruit.

Dr Agamuthu, who specialises in solid and hazardous waste
management, said Malaysia was close to developed country
status in terms of waste generated compared to developing
nations like India and Bangladesh, which had almost zero
unconsumed food.

He said food wastage was higher in urban areas due to the
difference in income levels over rural areas.

Nutrition Society of Malaysia president Dr Tee Ee Siong
said many Malaysians tended to overeat, usually taking more
food than they should.

He said it was a common sight to see Malaysians pile too
much food on their plates, especially during meals at
restaurants and buffets.

"It could be because they don`t want the hassle of going
back for a second helping or they are worried that the food
will finish before they can return," this he felt made them
overeat.

According to Health Ministry statistics, 30 per cent of
Malaysians were obese while another 30 per cent were
overweight.

Experts have said that Malaysians should change their
eating habits so as not to suffer when there was a food
crisis.

"The Government has been shielding Malaysians from the
real impact of the crisis with various subsidies," a food
consultant said adding that the people would soon face reality
as subsidies were slowly removed.

PTI



First Published: Friday, June 10, 2011 - 22:38

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