In Goldin's TED talk, he discusses about the "collapse in biodiversity, climate change" due to rapid globalisation. Indeed, excessive food consumption in rich countries has resulted in food wastage. The excessive killing of animals for human consumption has contributed to the collapse in biodiversity. The carbon footprint from the food wasted also occupies almost 30 percent of the world’s agricultural land area, indirectly leading to global warming (Kirby, 2013).
In the case of Singapore, rapid globalisation has opened up the country to a door of opportunities, propelling it towards economic success and becoming one of the richest countries in the world. However, beneath this beautiful exterior lies the dark world of food wastage. In 2013, Singapore set a record high of 703,200 tonnes of food wastage generated. This is a steep 26 percent increase from that in 2007 (Eco-Business, 2013).
First and foremost, there is a lack of awareness towards food wastage among Singaporeans. Many Singaporeans take more than what they can actually eat, which is especially evident in buffet restaurants. Many customers, eager to prove their money worthwhile, take several plates of food but end up not eating them. Many Singaporeans also order set meals from restaurants in order to "save money", but end up not finishing them. Needless to say, all the uneaten food end up in the garbage. The amount of wastage may seem insignificant if only one restaurant is concerned, but if that is multiplied by a thousand, the picture becomes clear.
This problem has been tackled by a group of NTU undergraduates, who came up with an anti food-waste campaign in 2013. Their campaign, titled "Makan Mantra", aimed to raise awareness on the topic of food wastage and encourage diners to be responsible when they eat and order food (Munirah, 2013). Other than disseminating eye-catching campaign posters, the "Pic-A-Mantra!" photo contest was also held to encourage people to share their food-saving habits. In addition, Makan Day 2013 was held in celebration of food waste reduction (Makan Mantra, 2013).
One of the campaign posters by Makan Mantra. Image by Makan Mantra
|Makan Day 2013. Image by Makan Mantra|
This campaign have been successful, receiving massive support from the media and public. Makan Day 2013 received a turnout of almost 180 supporters, and Makan Mantra was featured on online magazines like "Poached Mag" (Chan, 2013) and "BBC GoodFood Magazine". The campaign creators were also invited to promote their campaign through radio programmes.
|Makan Mantra being featured in BBC GoodFood Magazine. Image by BBC GoodFood Magazine|
Therefore, with its successful social media engagement and offline marketing, Makan Mantra has succeeded in raising the awareness on food wastage among Singaporeans, possibly empowering them to take action on managing and reducing food wastage as well.
The next reason for food wastage in Singapore is the pre-consumer kitchen waste from restaurant businesses. This include incorrectly prepared food, overproduction, spoiled food and so on (EndFoodWasteNow, n.d.). Many restaurants have tackled the problem of overproduction by allowing employees to take home the leftovers of the day. However, even after the food is collected, there are still often extras left, which are still disposed of ultimately.
There are more solutions for reducing this pre-consumer kitchen of food waste. For instance, restaurants can converting the food waste into garden food (home-made fertilisers), donate to a food bank, and re-estimate the amount of food required for the day. With collective efforts, these seemingly modest solutions can make a huge difference. That being said, manpower and finances are required for the implementation of the programme. Therefore, certain incentives or aid from the government would be helpful in encouraging the restaurant businesses to engage in the above activities. By implementing the above solutions, food wastage can be reduced to an even higher level.
In conclusion, food wastage is still a pressing issue in Singapore that ought to be addressed as soon as possible. The journey towards eliminating food wastage requires not only awareness, but concrete action as well. If a quarter of the amount of food typically disposed of is instead redistributed globally to the poor, a billion people would be lifted out of hunger (Wenzlau, S. W., 2013). If we work together to make the necessary changes to every link of the food chain, we can definitely make a difference.
Are you willing to be part of this difference?
Eco-Business. (2013). Amount of food waste in Singapore hits record high. Eco-Business. Retrieved March 2, 2014, from http://www.eco-business.com/news/amount-food-waste-singapore-hits-record-high/
EndFoodWasteNow. (n.d.). Restaurants. EndFoodWasteNow. Retrieved March 2, 2014, from http://endfoodwastenow.org/index.php/issues/issues-restaurants
FAO. (2013). Food Wastage Footprint Impacts on Natural Resources Summary Report. FAO. Retrieved March 3, 2014, from http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3347e/i3347e.pdf
Makan Mantra. (2013). Singapore's first food waste management campaign in partnership with F&B operations. Eco-Business.com. Retrieved March 5, 2014, from http://www.eco-business.com/press-releases/singapores-first-food-waste-management-campaign-in-partnership-with-fb-operations/
Marlis, T. (2013). 600 million kilos of food wastage yearly. Yahoo Entertainment Singapore. Retrieved March 2, 2014, from http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/news/600-million-kilos-food-wastage-yearly-144714232.html
Munirah, W. (2013). How much food are we wasting?. Youth.SG. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://app.youth.sg/Home/Articles.aspx?&id=2269&ord=DESC&s=31&e=40
Wenzlau, S. W. (2013). FAO Says Food Waste Harms Climate, Water, Land, and Biodiversity. Nourishing the Planet. Retrieved March 3, 2014, from http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/fao-says-food-waste-harms-climate-water-land-and-biodiversity/
ES1102 - English for Academic Purposes
This module is offered to undergraduate students who need to further develop their writing skills in preparation for fulfilling the reading and writing requirements of their academic courses. Students who obtain a 'Band 2' result in the Qualifying English Test are required to take ES1102.
This module is taught over 1 semester with 2 two-hour sectional teachings per week.
This English for Academic Purposes module is aimed at further developing students' language skills in the following areas: academic text comprehension, synthesis and integration of information into their essays, organisation/structure of writing assignments, academic integrity, and accurate use of grammar in context.
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate their understanding of text structure and authorial intended meaning;
- explore reading strategies, including those in their first language, which can be effectively used to access the meaning of texts;
- extend concepts from reading for organisation to their writing;
- analyse and interpret essay prompts and examination questions;
- develop a thesis, offer evidence, recognise others’ views, and learn to write with authority;
- practise academic integrity by appropriately using in-text citations and references; and
- provide meaningful explanations of grammatical rules for correcting grammatical inaccuracies in various texts.
- Continuous Assessment 70%
- Final Examination 30%
1. Students should have sat for the Qualifying English Test and obtained a ‘Band 2’ result or, if they obtained a ‘Band 1’ result, they must pass ES1000, Basic English, before registering for ES1102.
2. Only students who matriculated in AY2015/2016 and before are allowed to take ES1102.
AR1000, BE1000, ID1000, ET1000, NK1001, EA1101, EG1471, EM1101, ES1101, ES1103, ES1301