By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Every year, approximately 1.3 billion tons of food around the world goes to waste. One third of the food produced globally for consumption winds up as trash—rotten in fridges, leftover at parties, or even excess waste at diners or stores.

Some people see this as a form of disrespect to the food, as well as to the people who worked hard to produce food and to those who are experiencing a shortage in food supply.

Since food is vital to life, we must learn how to respect as well as enjoy the food we eat, and not just see it as just another commodity.

Here are six ways to better love and respect our food:

  1. Reduce food waste – Buy only the exact amount of food needed. Limit it to the serving size necessary for you or a group of people. If there is still a significant amount of food, transform it into new meals that you can enjoy the next day.

  2. Support local food producers – Chefs or you may be the reason why there’s a meal on your table, but farmers are behind the produce and ingredients you used. Support them by buying produce from local markets.

  3. Appreciate the people behind the production of food – Farmers go through so much to produce food. Aside from the labor and patience, it takes seeds, soil, and water to get the desired quality or amount of food found in markets and even in local restaurants.

  4. Adopt a healthier and more sustainable diet – Food is fuel and our bodies get energy as well as maintain good health from the nutrients that we get from food. It is important to pay attention to what we eat to balance out our different intakes and to avoid turning food as the reason behind our poor health.

  5. Learn where good food comes from – Learn new things about what you’re eating. Does it come from a tree? Is it a fruit or vegetable? It pays to know the origin of some of our food so we can translate them better into different dishes.

  6. Converse – Treat each meal with respect. Talk to younger generations about how food is important and how they should inform themselves about healthy as well as sustainable food choice.

Aside from making them into hearty dishes, respecting food comes from appreciating how it came to be. It helps people understand what food really stands for and how necessary it is for living.

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