UAE minister says Iftar buffets 'contribute significantly' to food waste


Published: 2021-04-22 11:08

Last Updated: 2021-05-17 03:46

Source: The National
Source: The National

Tuesday, the UAE's Minister of State for Food Security, Mariam Al Mheiri, told the National newspaper that Iftar buffets 'contribute significantly' to food waste. 

“The seemingly never-ending pandemic is having a positive outcome in that it is shining a spotlight on the incredible amount of food we throw away,” she said. 

“Ramadan iftars contribute significantly to this waste; their buffet nature leaving vast quantities of food unconsumed at the end of each evening,” she said, echoing that the UAE throws away nearly 200 kg of food per person per year. 

“With Iftar buffets being curtailed this year, the UAE is successfully reducing the amount of food it throws away during Ramadan.”

She continued by saying that awareness, and a commitment to buying only what one needs at the grocery store, will be helpful in reducing food waste.

According to her, 'a rise in online grocery shopping' has been increasingly helpful in the latter factor, as people 'shop more conservatively' online.

But Al Mheiri warned against returning to old habits once the pandemic is over, even during Ramadan. 

“With Ramadan a time for reflection and contemplation, we should all use this opportunity to think about the value of food, and to make a personal concerted effort to reduce the amount of food we throw away.”