Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT
Hunger can make people do the most unimaginable things. It can make a starving man travel for miles, exerting energy he never thought he had, in the hope of finding food, and it can make one commit heinous crimes. It can even turn a civilized person into a cannibal.
Despite the lengths humans would go to in order to satiate their hunger, roughly 795 million people are starving around the world.
The images of children suffering from kwashiorkor and marasmus and dying of starvation are quite gruesome.
But what if I tell you that you can end world hunger?
No, you wouldn't have to join the peace corps, neither would you have to quit your job and feed the hungry with your life savings. All that is expected of you are small changes to your diet and eating habits.
Instead of filling your refrigerator with groceries for a week or 10 days, shop for two to three days at a time.
It will not only prevent you from throwing away stale, neglected vegetables at the end of the week but will also help you eat better and save money.
Shop locally and eat seasonal vegetables.
Vegetables and fruits that are sold out of season are kept in cold storage and are less nutritious.
By buying locally, you will also support your local farmers and save money.
Cook accordingly. We cook too much food for one meal, and what is not eaten ends up in the dumpster.
The next time you cook dinner for your friends and family and have leftovers, try to save them for the next day's lunch.
Maybe you can even donate it to a local homeless shelter or orphanage. Apply the same rule when eating out.
Do not overeat. In Asian families, we are often taught to finish what is on our plate, which often leads to overeating. It may sound absurd but by overeating you are not only hurting yourself but every unnecessary bite of food that you take reduces what might be needed by someone else. Overeating also wastes food.
Go vegan. Too much to ask? At least give up red meat. A large amount of grain is required to feed livestock. By giving up your burger you will not only gift yourself better health, but you will also feed a lot of hungry people. You can still enjoy chicken and fish in reasonable quantities.
Eat food as close to nature as possible, for example, boiled rice, steamed vegetables, and fresh fruits.
All these little efforts of ours will prevent food wastage and help reduce food shortage.
In the long run, it will also help bring down food prices. In return, you will get a healthier body and bank account.
These changes may seem small, but one must never forget that big changes are a collective of small efforts.
Now, how's that for a new year's resolution?
This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.