Monday, October 26, 2009

'Food' and food for thought

This article has been picked up by Bangalore mirror on November 2nd 2009.

I recently had to change two planes of the same airline company to reach Bangalore. On board the first plane, the flight attendant came over with a tray full of snacks. I did not want all of them and so told her I'd take only the Chat and Sweet. I told her to put away the vegetable burger.
She said, "Take it ma'am, we will not be using it anytime again."
So, I tried to explain "See, I don't want to eat a veg burger and I am telling you even before I take the tray from you. Just wanted to make sure that I don't want to waste it."
She said," That's okay ma'am. You can just let it be and enjoy whatever you like to eat.".

Of course, I knew that, but just wanted to be sure that we don't waste food because, just because it was a complimentary snack. I still do not understand the idea behind trashing everything that is not used at a given flight travel. When there are so many without food to eat, it is just okay for the airline to consider giving it out to someone in need. I am not saying that the sealed food stuff from a used tray should be given away, but in cases like mine, where the food is untouched and I have told them upfront to take it off from my tray, it is just okay to give it off to someone in need.

A co-passenger from plane 1 was my neighbour in plane 2. Plane 2 also had the same snack. I promptly said 'No, thank you'. I did not feel like eating the same snack again.
My neighbour took the plate and said, 'Its the same thing'.
I said, " Yeah, same airline, and how come you took it again? Are you hungry?.
She said, " No, I am not, took it just like that...". I didn't understand.
When she was done, I saw that the chat and the veg burger were left untouched and of course, tossed straight into the trash can.

Food!!! and very good food goes to nobody!!!!. Could not take it.

A little later is when I noticed the flooded areas in Karnataka. You can read about it here. Like, I've said in that article, we just wont get it - how difficult it is for a lot of people to get something to eat, each day, when we are here, wasting food in an airplane. I don't say you have to eat whatever is given whether you like it or not, but there must be an option for people to pick what they would like to have. When you are half way through eating, and you don't want the rest of it, its still okay. You are not under any force here.

But then, if you don't even want something, and the whole thing goes to the trash can for nobody's consumption, it is colossal waste of the now under-valued food, that is otherwise a luxury for a lot of people out on the roads. Just because our airfare includes the in-flight snacks, it doesn't mean that we should nibble on food and send the rest to trash. Why is this happening?? May be this has been thought out, but I told you what happened and don't you see it is a solid waste of money? Whose money is not important here.

Airline companies are implementing plans that ensure that their guests are treated well. They don't have to reuse food items that are untouched, but can surely give it away to some one in need. Made me think.. How much of food must get wasted in such big airline businesses each day? Do they all hit the trash can? Or do they get sent to people in need?

Either we change or the Airline companies change the way they serve food.

I was dining out with a friend last evening. We thought we ordered very smartly, smart enough not to waste food. I didn't think that the quantities would be too much for us to finish. When we were done, we still found a lot of food left. They were not touched and we decided to pack it off to be given away to someone in need. I realized the value for food, when I finally gave the food packet away and got a whole-hearted thank you in return.


Musing Gal said...

Interestingly in US they have stopped serving free food for local flights. Only international flights they serve food and if you say no to something they wont give you that :) It will soon be implemented in Indian Airline companies too.
It should become a common practice in restaurants to pack any left over food, that way you can store it in the refrigerator and eat it the next day or give it to some needy person like you did. Well it wont happen unless there is a demand, so our job here is to create one. When we go to restaurants we need to ask for takeout of the extra food always. In the due course it will become a practice. Also you can write to the airlines what you felt about the food as a feedback in their site. Whether they consider it or not is a different story but atleast you can voice it!

teendudes said...

I have never been in a plane but if this is the case really then these food which are going to be waste can be given away to those who really need them. A snack for us can be a food for many. But most of us never understand this and keep on wasting things.

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