Imams at mosques across Abu Dhabi recently coordinated on a consistent message to urge people not to waste food. Worshipers at every mosque in the United Arab Emirates capital were given a pre-Ramadan message, prepared in cooperation with the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), advising them to think twice before cooking up too much food and to ponder the food-miles embedded in every ingredient.
EAD is a government body that aims to create a greener planet. The sermons were delivered after the Muslim festival of Lailat Al Miraj as part of World Environment Day, and included a subtext on how healthier eating helps people stay fit.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, every year 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted around the world, an amount equal to total food production in sub-Saharan Africa.
Worshipers were told that reductions in food waste translate directly into deep cuts in manufacture and use of fertilizer and pesticides, and avoidance of transportation fuel burn and resultant emissions.
The theme of World Environment Day 2013 is “Think.Eat.Save.”, particularly relevant in Abu Dhabi where, according to the EAD, 39% of municipal waste consists of food. “This is contributing to landfills, carbon emissions and ultimately contributing to climate change,” said Fozeya Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, EAD Director of Environmental Outreach.
Green Prophet will be trolling for a post-Ramadan assessment of how well the message was absorbed.
Image of food waste from Shutterstock