by Anindita Sengupta
- Overflowing wedding buffets have raised the ire of Food Minister KV Thomas. A committee established by him will organise a public awareness campaign about food wastage, through the media and outreach to schools and social organisations.
- If the campaign does not work, the committee may consider imposing a rule on guest limit.
- Thomas says about one-fifth of the food served at weddings and social gatherings is discarded. Around 1 lakh weddings and social events are held in India every day and the food wasted each day in Mumbai alone would feed the city’s vast slum population.
- India’s rich have a different opinion. “It’s my only daughter’s wedding. I don’t want to stint on anything. And certainly not on food,” said Alka Gupta, a businesswoman.
- Food prices in India rose by 8.4% in June 2011 (Associated Press, 22 July 2011).
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- As rising food prices drive the poor into abysmal levels of deprivation, affluent consumers are being criticised for wastage. The big fat Indian wedding is not escaping scrutiny either.
- Weddings continue to hold a significant social and symbolic value and hosts want to impress friends and peers. The affluent are unlikely to cut down on food, usually considered a measure of the hosts’ generosity and status.