21st December, 2022
By Vivian Emoni
A climate change expert, David Terungwa, has urged Nigerians to avoid food waste during the Yuletide, as refuse generated from such can increase global warming and climate change.
Terungwa, Team Leader of the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), gave the warning while addressing newsmen on the impacts of climate change in the environment, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Terungwa, who is also the Africa Coordinator, Citizens Climate International, said that food wastes ending up in landfills produced a larger amount of methane greenhouse gas than even carbon dioxide (CO2).
According to him, excess amount of greenhouse gases, such as methane, CO2 and chlorofluorocarbons absorbs infrared radiation and heat up the earth’s atmosphere, thus causing global warming and climate change.
He said that food wastes represented a waste of fresh water and groundwater resources, with agriculture accounting for 70 per cent of the water used across the world.
Terungwa further stated that in addition to money being wasted, discarded food has negative impacts on the environment, contributing to global warming.
“Consider the energy and natural resources expended in processing, transporting, storing and cooking of food,” he added.
The expert said that the packaging of many food products was excessive, adding that there was a growing awareness that such packaging was not environmental-friendly and could land up in landfills.
“The rate of food waste during festivities is very alarming. For instance, much of the food prepared during the yuletide will never be eaten.
“Many of us don’t give a thought to the quantity of food we waste daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, with increased tons of food wasted during festivities, including Christmas and New Year.
“Food waste in this context refers to food left over; too much food prepared and not used, all generally land in dumpsites.
“Food wastage is a bad attitude, particularly in a nation where we have children who spend days on empty stomachs. Our leftovers could be someone’s first meal.
“For every food you waste and throw away, there is a stomach that is hungry and going to bed without food,’’ he said.
Terungwa quoted the United Nations as estimating that one in every three persons in the world does not have access to sufficient food to lead a healthy life.