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In two weeks’ time communities will be marking World Food Day.

The aim: to eliminate hunger.

Leaders from continents across the world have already committed themselves to ensure there is zero hunger for all by the year 2030.

This means only 12 years remain for this sustainable development goal to be achieved. While most of us can argue how impossible this task is, given the increasing tide of strife across the globe owing to dwindling economies and a plethora of challenges, we ought to look at some suggestions that have been made on how we can ensure everyone can eat.

Proposals are that each and every individual should play a role by advocating for zero hunger. This could be by sharing their knowledge or resources and finding innovative ways on how to end hunger; adopting a healthy, nutritious and sustainable diet; growing fresh produce particularly in those communities who have little or no means of income; and not wasting food. The latter, it seems, is one that has been the most difficult to achieve - and it requires urgent attention.

Statistics by the World Wide Fund have shown that almost one-third of all food produced in South Africa - totalling 10million tons of edible food - is wasted every year. The picture across the world is dire. Estimates are that food wasted in developing countries amounts to 1.3billion tons.

This is insane - food that is discarded, lost or simply uneaten.

The reasons for this astronomical waste ranges from food production stages right up to retail. A while back I learnt about the phenomenon of ugly food. This is food that is said not to be appealing to the eye.

I was gobsmacked at how, in an era where there is so much inequality and poverty, one can go into a fresh produce market and simply decide that a sweet potato or carrot is not aesthetically appealing. Or how one can decide that the carrot cake they purchased at an upmarket store hours ago suddenly does not taste good. It is also disheartening that retailers can still get away with placing profit above the interests and well-being of consumers by packaging food with the wrong labelling or placing incorrect expiry dates on certain items.

Communities can no longer look at food the same way they did decades ago. Food fights can no longer be about fun if no social change comes with it. Instead, the fun fight should be in trying to end waste. An example of this was the World Disco Soup Day marked in April this year.

According to, “volunteers, chefs, farmers,producers and visitors joined forces to collect leftover food and cook together. They made, in total, more than 40000 meals out of food that would otherwise have been thrown away”.

This one global movement ensured that food does not end up in piles at a dumping site. Alas, this social movement may not work for some. But there are other ways to get around it such as every consumer only buying as much food as they need; or instead of leaving your bread to become stale by the expiry date, make meals around it and give it to the needy at traffic lights instead of money.

* Mokati is Independent Media's development content editor.