02 Nov 2016

Food waste in South East Asia

Food waste in Southeast Asia – Spicing up a media foray

Food wastage in Malaysia has hit the fore-front in the media through the power of Facebook once again. This evoked international anger at the tossing down the drain of 600kg of the popular spicy noodle soup known as ‘Sarawak Laksa’. This followed a record attempt for the largest bowl made in Malaysia’s Plaza Merdeka.  Thus food waste in Southeast Asia is becoming a trending topic in Southeast Asia, like it is around the world.

  • 100kg of Laska paste
  • 225kg rice noodles
  • 90kg of prawns
  • 1008 eggs
  • 90kg of beansprouts
  • 80kg of chicken

All this has added itself to some 15,000 tonnes of discarded food in Malaysia every-day. So all done in the name of setting a new world record. Food wastage in Malaysia has, like all Southeast Asia countries, been contributing to the massive food wastage in the region.

Continuing Food wastage in Southeast Asia is a huge problem, notching up a staggering 21 percent of total food wasted in the world. Not the kind of ‘press’ this Malaysian plaza wanted, or in fact needed.

Plaza Merdeka Kuching

The Plaza Merdeka has issued a statement in the form of an apology saying; “We are very ‘grateful’ to the public for pointing out the issue of food wastage. We would not try to justify ourselves in this respect. We apologize for the oversight and misjudgment”.

With proper planning and foresight, this record could well have been in the media for the right reasons, instead of adding to the amount of food waste in Southeast Asia. Some 1500 bowls of delicious Sarawak Laksa could have made the ‘less fortunate’ in our society ‘grateful’ for dinner. Now that would have made a media story worthy of a record! Of course it would also have reduced the amount of food waste in Southeast Asia too.

Food waste in Southeast Asia
A bowl of Laksa – not as big as the one thrown away!

Laksa recipes

So what is Laksa? This extremely popular Asian dish’s name hails from the paste. Traditional families however consider the Laksa recipe to be such a great secret, most people now just purchase it off the shelf. Various Laksa recipes are available, making this soup ever popular locally with Laksa Halal, Laksa Curry and Laksa vegetarian recipes to mention but a few.

The up-side of this Malaysian food waste disaster is that it serves as a timely reminder; so next time we go out for dinner, ‘order what you can eat, and recycle what you can’t’.

AUTHOR: Appetti