Latin America’s hunger could be eradicated with something that is in our hands

Latin America's hunger could be eradicated with something that is in our hands

Maybe it’s time to think a little about others. 

When we go to the supermarket, before choosing a food product (especially if it is perishable) we look at the expiration date and always try to choose the one that seems to last longer in good condition. The same thing happens at the time of cleaning the refrigerator or cupboard, our guide to decide what to toss and what not, it becomes that date.

But what is the true meaning of that blessed expiration date? What is the difference between the maturity and the “before”? Can I consume the product allegedly beaten a few days later? These and many other questions ask ourselves sometimes; especially if we are going to use the milk, its expiry was 2 days ago, but it seems in good condition and have no desire (or intention) to go to the supermarket. Luckily for us, some experts have been commissioned study on the subject. And others, to explain what happens when we do something as mundane as cleaning the refrigerator.

Difference between “Expiration Date” and “best before”


When the product we have in hand says “best before ” and mark a date, this does not mean then that food is spoiled, it is simply a warning that the taste, texture or flavor may vary and not be the one to which we are accustomed, but does not mean that it can become harmful to our health.

And when we see an exact due date without the “best” is that we must be more attentive to the product that we consume (and if you’re going to buy, better opt for another). But all is not as rigorous since, according to the American HeartAssociation , a product that expires at home, if handled properly and kept at the temperature usually indicated on the package, it may be consumed normally after the above date.

It may also happen that the date indicated is limit sale and not consumption (and that creates a lot of confusion), but quiet, if just shopping at the supermarket and when you get home you realize that you are near the deadline, you have two options: cook or freeze when you do not lose the necessary features.

Yes, the strict limit is when the taste, aroma or texture is unpleasant, that surely notice and is not that you can, is not directly apetecerá you consume.

To make you stay a little clearer, you can read in detail what happens to different foods.

Think, then decide whether to scrap is the best choice

Sometimes we have to stop for a while to think about everything that happens around us. We must stop thinking about ourselves and think about others (near and far).

In 2014,  United Nations Food and Cultural Organization  (FAO)  launched a scary numbers (especially because it is something that is in each of us) who said that the possibility of eradicating hunger from our continent is in our hands (or our dustbins). Almost two years ago were about 47 million people in the region who were hungry and 6% of the food that was wasted in the world was in Latin America and the Caribbean. This data emerged in the food waste in Latin America and the Caribbean and Loss report , but the thing was not there no more. Food available per year, discard 15%.

The numbers are alarming

It is important to note that when it comes to waste, reference is being made to still serve foods that have nutritional value and could feed one person, no problem. And this is not only responsible who harvest and those who sell (wholesale or retail) food, because we as consumers also have to see, since either misinformation of the expiration date or because we really are not aware of our actions all the time are throwing out food (28% of waste is given at the consumer level).

environmental, economic and social impact

Let us not only in the numbers and accompany reflections also brings that report.

For example, for the economy, it might seem so, but it is not good waste (especially for the consequences for our pocket) because by reducing the local and global availability of food , producers have less income and table increases the price for consumers. In addition, discard food the way we’re doing it (sadly, most) is not using natural resources in the best way, then, imagine the environmental consequences that this can bring.

And I think that the social becomes evident: the sum of all the food we waste, we could eradicate hunger in our region. The (real) example of the report is quite illustrative: only with what is wasted in supermarkets, stores or fairs could feed 30 million people (and remember that we are talking about 47 million hungry people), then imagine a how many people might draw more hunger if we add all the other losses, one of them, that of our homes.

Much of what is needed to reverse this situation is out of our hands and is available to those who can manage, manipulate and create laws and regulations.Obviously we can not influence (or at least not easily) on what the big producers and traders.

But there is good news

In addition to that there are organizations that handle sensitize all stakeholders on this issue, there are countries where also operate what are known as food banks where food would be discarded for some reason meets.

And not only that … Surely there is some room in your city where people go street or a group of caring people dedicated to bring a hot dish to the homeless or even maybe yourself know (or someone you know does) to any person or family that could use those foods that you know very well that spoil before consume. So, you see, maybe we can not feed the world, but if we can make a better world. With a bit: simply check our food from our house and be really conscious and sincere if you consume or not; or perhaps, with those foods packaged or canned the “best before” and did not get to eat, and we know that we will not, we can make a difference when deciding if we throw or give away.

Although it may seem impossible, with minimal gestures of our daily lives we can make a better world.