Macau Opinion | Waste land

The popularly loved buffet -more in vogue in the beginning of the gaming liberalisation era – continues to be present and appreciated by tourists and locals in some of the fancy and popular hotels in the city, being reinvented from venue to venue from time to time.

Lunches and dinners organised by associations, companies, and government departments also provide their quota of indulgence to clients and guests who are among the chosen ones to be pampered.

Although the latter can be more or less catered to the size of the audience to be hosted that particular day or evening, there is always some food waste which is inevitable.

The buffet type, on the other hand, is where most waste strikes. Loads of foods of all types are thrown away by the end of each service to comply with hygiene requisites which seem to be regularly observed in the main casino-hotels in town although cases of food intoxication arise from time to time.

On a daily basis, tons of food end up in the garbage bin.

Gluttony is one of the deadly sins, goes the Christian teaching, but who has not secretly or more overtly enjoyed a meal or two they are fond of or which they found to have been prepared to their taste?

Indulgence in excess is human and it gets to us for different reasons and times. But waste is immoral. Throwing food away is perceived as iniquitous in many cultures. But in the culture of big corporations, selling the extravagance of excess in its many forms does raise questions, both economic and moral.

Food waste management is, though, a serious matter which has not yet been tackled in Macau. It could be activated by creating simple forms of redistribution for still-fresh food produce to be consumed; for instance, to the more complex recycling system, which could transform organic waste into compost and biogas for recovery.

There is a whole business in waste that has not been considered by private initiative or government authorities locally, which is past the time of being an option in a city throwing tons of food away every day.

Editor-in-Chief, MNA