By: Zaufishan (edited and updated by MuslimVillage)
A Muslim’s diet is above ordinary – we are “meat-eating vegetarians” which means if it’s not halal food (lawful in Islam and preferably organic), we practice temporary vegetarianism. Muslims are blessed with grocery stores and local markets therefore life in Britain does not require us to grow our own crops – although, if we did, that would be exciting and nurturing. As an eco-Muslim I have learned to grow my own tomatoes and other herbs, which, with a little know-how is a productive step to improving our lifestyle.
Muslims believe that God has created this planet in harmony, an equilibrium, where there is enough of every resource to provide for every living being. Even the food God provided for people is a “trust” that needs to be consumed in -keyword here- moderation.
But moderation is not our forte, not here in England anyway. We do not check food labels often enough to know what we’re putting into our bodies. We more often than not, opt for ordering out than eating in. A 2012 WRAP Food Waste report stated that British consumers throw away up to 19% of their food. Now that is an improvement over the 22% waste recorded in 2007, yet it is still too much and it certainly can’t hurt to continue to strive to be conscientious when in comes to the way we treat our food.
Some cannot afford basic green foods, so we cannot afford to waste ours. This is why a Qur’anic reminder is set for Muslims:
“It is God Who causes gardens to grow, with trellises and without, and palm trees, and crops of different kinds of food, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered…”
The line following this is our main focus: “Eat – But waste not by excess: for God does not love the wasters.” (Qur’an, 6:141). So to help us bring that about Zaufishan from Green Prophet presents an Action Plan to follow-up the valuable 3R-Principle in eating: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.
- Do not waste any amount of food, even if it’s expired. If the food is uncooked add it to your compost heap. Crumble stale bread and unwanted nuts together for bird seed.
- Only buy food that you need for that day or week and stick to a budget.
- Plate a little less food for each person. Islamic tradition says to eat in thirds – 1/3 for food, 1/3 for water, and 1/3 for air, strongly implying to be able to move and breathe easily after a heavy meal! Store leftovers for the next day.
- Recycle! Instead of spilling leftover drinks, water your plants. Use airtight lidded storage containers for snacks and reuse drinks bottles to cutback on surplus volumes of packaging.
- Go green and save energy by eating together with family or friends. At a larger gathering you will actually use kitchen appliances fewer times and therefore less energy (power and electricity) than for every individual eating at different times.
- Start a compost heap with peelings, skins, egg shells and worms!
- Donate your extra fresh fruit and tinned foods regularly to charity. The miracle of donation is that there are no losers and you help others.
- Join campaigns or faith groups during their food drives; fast during Ramadan, for those who are not Muslims events like Lent or Passover contain important values and eco-traditions surrounding food.
- Use your technology wisely for online grocery shopping – not ordering takeaways! And this takes us onto Top Tip Ten:
- Eat more home-cooked food.