Home Featured Lavish Ramadan Buffets Come At The Cost Of Excessive Food Waste

Lavish Ramadan Buffets Come At The Cost Of Excessive Food Waste

Lavish Ramadan Buffets Come At The Cost Of Excessive Food Waste


Ramadan is here again, and while the holy month is a time for reflection and spiritual rejuvenation, it is also known for its lavish iftar and suhoor gatherings. Unfortunately, these gatherings also lead to a significant increase in food waste, with the excess amounting to an estimated 4.5kg per person daily – up from 2.7kg – according to stats shared by Dubai Carbon back in 2019.

In Dubai alone, food wastage in Ramadan, goes up to 60% from the 38% during other times of the year.

The UAE has long been grappling with the issue of food wastage, with an estimated AED4 billion worth of food being discarded each year. While the UAE Food Bank project and the no-food-waste campaign by Dubai Carbon were launched to tackle the issue, it seems that we still have a long way to go.

Traditionally, grand buffets of food are laid out at iftar and suhoor gatherings to show hospitality, but this tradition should not come at the cost of food wastage

Hospitality should not focus on overindulgence, and there should be a shift to the perfect amount of food. A meal where nothing is thrown away is the winning scenario, and the message is that there is no reason to throw away food.

The spike in wet foods dumped in local landfills creates 25 times more harmful greenhouse gas emissions than carbon monoxide. This is a significant issue, especially when 40% of the waste going to landfills is attributed to organic food waste.

Taking from 2019’s stats, it’s imperative to reduce food wastage during Ramadan and embark on a journey of responsible eating

Plan meals ahead of time and make shopping lists to avoid impulse buys. Or opt to share leftover food with family, friends, and neighbors, or distribute to those less fortunate. Home composting is also an option, as it can potentially divert up to 150kg of food waste per household per year from local collection authorities.

The key outlook here is to shift the focus from overindulgence to responsible consumption during Ramadan. 

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