NEW DELHI: The next time you get a wedding invitation with “please, don’t waste food’’ typed on it, do not be surprised. This is one of the recommendations made by a committee appointed by the Food Ministry to check the “criminal wastage of food’’ in the country during weddings and other social gatherings.
The Food Ministry, worried over the quantum of food wasted in the country where 79 per cent of children are anaemic, had appointed the three-member committee headed by Prof Suresh Mishra to assess the problem.
Among its recommendations is the wedding card inscription. “Invitation cards may carry the message that food should not be wasted and it is a social crime. People should be educated and encouraged to put the RSVP (“please reply” ) culture in practice and always develop the habit to confirm their presence in social functions,’’ the committee suggests.
According to a Food Ministry official, this suggestion by the committee can be of real help if everyone decides to practice it suo moto.
“Etiquette rules followed in most Western cultures require that if one receives a formal invitation, he or she is expected to reply promptly as it would help the hosts to know how many people to count on and how much food and drink to buy. This goes a long way in ensuring that no food is wasted. It is high time that we also start practicing it,’’ said the official.
The committee report states that social functions, particularly marriage, have now become highly ostentatious.
However, it has ruled out any strict regulation to check the indulgence. Instead, the focus has to be on education and awareness.
Media can play a great role by focusing on the quantity of wastage during celebrity weddings, it says.
It also has exhorted political leaders, bureaucrats, industrialists and other celebrities to become role models by resorting to simple celebration of social functions.
It has asked the ministry to begin the austerity drive from within the govt.
Another suggestion is to inculcate the habit of “no wastage’’ from school days itself.