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Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating Covid-19: UAE residents curb food wastage

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on April 1, 2020 | Last updated on April 1, 2020 at 08.16 pm
Combating, coronavirus, UAE residents, curb, food wastage, Covid-19

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On an average, a UAE resident wastes 197kg of food each year.

From splurging and stocking food items to saving and selective purchasing now - the Covid-19 situation has helped residents curb food wastage. With majority of the residents adhering to the country's #StayHome directive, grocery bills have increased for families. Additionally, residents fear having to take a pay cut, or worse, losing jobs.

The only logical way for them to manage expenses is by curbing wastage, they said. On an average, a UAE resident wastes 197kg of food each year.

Monthly expenditure cut

Sameer Aliyar is a network expert at a private firm. He is worried about paying his kids' school fees, but his immediate concern is food.

Sameer is afraid of not having enough money to buy food. Despite costs having gone up as his kids are e-learning from home, he has cut his grocery budget from Dh1,500 to Dh1,000.

"We buy less or only essential things. Chocolates for kids have become a luxury. There will be no wastage of food in my home. We will prepare only what can be consumed and finished in a day. As we stay home, we may eat more but we have stopped binge-eating. We are more alert about the monthly budget. I get the same vibes from my friends, too," Sameer said.

Avoid shortage by curbing wastage

Jinsor Joseph, who works as an engineer at a university, is being very careful with the money he spends on food. Joseph's wife is working and the couple has two kids - son, 12, and daughter, 10.

"We plan to prepare only what is needed for a day. Since we don't have any guests visiting us, we have been able to cut on grocery expenses."

He called on his fellow residents to not resort to panic-buying. "People shouldn't waste food. This step alone will help to avoid food shortage."

Devendiran E. is a construction sector employee and a bachelor. His spending on food has not gone down, but his habits have. "I am very aware about what and how much I eat. I will just buy the food I need. I will complete whatever is served on the plate to me and avoid any wastage. What we save today, we get to eat tomorrow," Devendiran said

'Less than Dh400 on food'

Haji Ali Tajudeen, a private sector employee, who stays with his wife, is alert to the changing situation.

"We cook three times a day with limited dishes. There is no wastage of any food. We understand the value of food, especially in these days of uncertainty. By taking these measures, we are bracing for days ahead. We have to take steps in tandem with the government to tide over this disaster."

Tajudeen said he will not spend more than Dh400 on food. "My wife and I are surviving on my monthly salary. We have tightened it further. We have Ramadan coming up in few weeks."  

Ashwani Kumar

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