Ramadan 2023: Essential Tips To Avoid Wasting Food
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Ramadan is an important festival in the Islamic calendar that is observed by Muslims all around the world. It is a month-long period of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community, and it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the foundation of the Muslim faith. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from sunrise until sunset each day. This is done as an act of worship and self-discipline, and it helps to purify the body and soul.

The meal consumed before commencing the fast each day is called 'sehri', and the meal consumed to break the fast in the evenings is called 'iftar'. People get together with their families and friends for iftar after offering prayers in the evening after sunset. As social gatherings take place at different places at iftar to break the fast after sunset during the month of Ramadan, there might be chances of a lot of food going to waste as well. This article discusses tips and tricks to reduce and avoid food waste during Ramadan or iftar.

According to conservative estimates, between 15 and 25 percent of all the foods that are produced or purchased during Ramadan go to waste (according to Arab News). The pattern indicates that the demand for mutton, poultry, and related meat products increases by over 50% during Ramadan, which is already a very high demand. Similar things happen to other food items in the same categories, such as dairy goods, vegetables, and fruits, which are swiftly sold out in supermarkets and cold storage facilities.

Here are some tips to avoid and reduce food waste during this festive month:

Plan meals ahead of time

Before beginning the fast for the day, plan the meals for the day, taking into account the number of people who will be eating. This way, you can purchase and prepare just the right amount of food needed to avoid waste.

Store food properly

Ensure that food is stored correctly and safely to prevent spoilage. Proper storage can significantly increase the shelf life of food and help keep it fresh for longer periods.

Use leftovers efficiently

If you have any leftovers from the previous meal, try to incorporate them into the next meal. For example, leftover rice can be used to make fried rice, and extra vegetables can be added to soups and stews.

Practice portion control

During Ramadan, it's easy to overindulge and eat more than we need. Try to serve smaller portions and encourage people to take only what they can eat to avoid wasting food.

Share food with others

Sharing food with friends, family, and neighbours is a common practice during Ramadan. By sharing food, you can ensure that excess food is not wasted while also strengthening social bonds.

Donate excess food

If you have excess food, consider donating it to those in need. Many organisations and mosques distribute food to the poor and needy during Ramadan, so you can contact them to find out how to make a donation.

Compost food scraps

If you have food scraps, compost them instead of throwing them away. Composting is an eco-friendly way to dispose of food waste and can also be used to fertilize your plants and garden.