I recently read about a group of Singaporeans who prepared a huge buffet spread of food for the public – free of charge.
The only catch? All the food served at the event was “rescued” – food items that had been thrown away. The “rescued” food amounted to 1,500 kg worth of vegetables. It was good enough to feed about 4,150 people.
I was shocked. How could a small island like Singapore generate so much food waste? I decided to read up more and grew even more dismayed.
In Singapore, food waste accounts for about 10% of all nationwide waste.
That might not seem to be a lot, but when you consider that Singapore generated 791,000 tonnes of food waste in 2016 – roughly the weight of about 3,500 MRT trains – it’s hard to brush this off as a small issue.
Numbers have a way of numbing us. What is our mindset when we come across such figures?
As I was reading this, I began to wonder: What does the Bible actually say about food wastage? Through my research and reading of the Word, I came to see that God blessed all of mankind with an abundance of food and water – but He also blessed the other things He created!
In Genesis 1:22, God spoke to all of creation, the creatures He had just made (Adam had not been created yet at this point). And God blessed them – all of His creation apart from mankind. He blessed creatures like those in the seas and the birds that flew in the air. He blessed His creation and told them to increase in number across the earth.
God’s plan was for an abundance on the earth so that there would be enough for everyone (Psalm 65:9). However, what we’re seeing in other parts of the world now is a lack.
Worldwide, about 815 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment, with undernutrition causing about 3.1 million child deaths every year.
Does this feel like just another statistic? We need the Spirit to grow in us a heart of empathy for our brothers and sisters whose most basic needs are not even met.
As believers, we need to thank God for the abundant provision that He has given to all of us, especially here in Singapore.
We must also ask ourselves if we need to repent for our poor stewardship. As God has entrusted the care of the whole earth to mankind, we ought to be faithful stewards.
Ask God to open the eyes of our heart and to learn how to better steward the resources He has given us – even simple things we take for granted like food.
Faith without deeds is dead. Now that I’ve dug deeper into this issue, I know that I have to do something. As a start, I’ve decided to support only supermarkets that actively reduce food wastage.
I’ve also made it a point to finish all the food on my plate. I now see food as provision from my Provider.
My desire is to see the world and people around me the way God sees them. So help me, God!