What awaste!

An­gry diner’s im­age of food left by ta­ble of three at if­tar sparks de­bate

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Sar­wat Nasir @Sar­watNasir

This was the left­over food that a fam­ily of three walked away from af­ter tuck­ing in at if­tar, prompt­ing one an­gry diner to share the pho­to­graph on­line and spark a de­bate about waste.

Fif­teen plates were crammed on to the ta­ble in the min­utes be­fore the trio ended their fast.

A mother, fa­ther and child picked at the meal be­fore leav­ing, ac­cord­ing to a nearby diner who spoke to 7DAYS af­ter shar­ing the im­age on Red­dit.

More than 80 peo­ple com­mented on the thread, with one, Java Beans, writ­ing: “This is dis­grace­ful. That’s ex­actly the op­po­site of what Ra­madan is for.”

It has been es­ti­mated that more than three mil­lion tonnes of food (worth about Dhs14 bil­lion) is wasted in the UAE ev­ery year.

The out­raged diner, who gave his name as Ma­jid, said he took the snap at a restau­rant in Dubai.

He said: “I promised my­self I would not go to a buf­fet again. All I could think of was how many peo­ple sleep ev­ery night with empty stom­achs.

“It was at an if­tar buf­fet. There were two peo­ple and a child eat­ing and they started putting food out 15 min­utes be­fore if­tar. You could tell they weren’t go­ing to fin­ish what they put on the ta­ble.”

A char­ity drive to col­lect left­over if­tar food is at­tract­ing sup­port from more and more ho­tels.

The project man­ager of ERC’s Sav­ing Grace Cam­paign, Sul­tan Mo­hammed Al Shehi said that some of the big­ger ho­tels that of­fer if­tar buf­fets have agreed to do­nate sur­plus if­tar food to the cam­paign.

Last year, 7DAYS re­ported that ho­tels were re­luc­tant to give away food be­cause of the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing held li­able in case of food poi­son­ing.

How­ever, Al Shehi be­lieves the at­ti­tudes of ho­tels in the coun­try are slowly shift­ing.

Just 12 signed up for the cam­paign last year, but Al Shehi said this year’s fig­ure is 30 al­ready.

Al Shehi said: “There are about 30 ho­tels in Abu Dhabi that are par­tic­i­pat­ing in this cam­paign with us, a few in Dubai and Aj­man.

“We are speak­ing with the au­thor­i­ties in Dubai who can help get more ho­tels on board to join the cam­paign.

“Yes, the ho­tels used to worry about what kinds of food are safe to give away, but with the right in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to them more and more ho­tels are coop

er­at­ing with us. They are start­ing to feel more com­fort­able with us.

“Last year, we dis­trib­uted 45,000 meals in the month of Ra­madan. This year I think it will reach to a lit­tle more than 50,000.

“We have a lot more vans that are be­ing used to go to dif­fer­ent ho­tels and col­lect food as com­pared to last year.”

The restau­rant man­ager at a ho­tel in Abu Dhabi, that par­tic­i­pated in the cam­paign last year, said that peo­ple take more food then they can eat dur­ing if­tar but there is also “plenty” of left­over food from the buf­fet that’s un­touched.

The man­ager said that ho­tels “shouldn’t worry” about do­nat­ing to the ERC once they have all of the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion about what kind of food they can give away.

The man­ager said: “I think what au­thor­i­ties most of the time are con­cerned about is when ho­tels give away fish, eggs or milk that may have gone bad and can be un­healthy to con­sume.

“So, if ho­tels just ask the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties about what is con­sid­ered okay to give away, then there shouldn’t be any prob­lem – foods such as rice or pasta.”

SAV­ING GRACE: Chefs load up food to help sup­port the ERC’s cam­paign

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.