Saudi Arabia has a prevalent throwaway culture which leads to colossal food waste every day. To resist food wastage, an entrepreneur has designed a plate that makes the meal look bigger by creating a gastronomical illusion.
Entrepreneur Mashal Alkharashi has recently launched a rice place which makes the potion of food appear bigger. The plate has a mound in the centre which minimises the middle area, prompting people to serve less and save more. Talking to international media, Alkharashi said that the innovative design, elevated from the middle, reduces waste by 30 per cent. He also said that the plate has been adopted in recent years by multiple Saudi restaurants and has saved more than 3,000 tons of rice. He added that this way, they preserve the generosity part while cutting waste.
Saudi Arabia has the highest rate of waste globally even after it is heavily reliant on imports to meet its growing food demand. The average Saudi wastes up to 250kg of food annually, compared to a global average of 115kg, according to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture. The Economist Intelligence Unit reports that the consumption is far higher than the official estimate, adding that the average Saudi wastes as much as 427kg every year, underscoring what observers call a throwaway consumer culture that undervalues food. Since food items and groceries are abundantly available to all living in Saudi Arabia and they are highly subsidized, the residents take food for granted, academics from Riyadh's King Saud University wrote in a research report last year.
Food is not the only thing that is wasted in the Desert Kingdom. It is very common to see car engines idling for hours. The habit stems from the era when oil was cheaper than water in Saudi Arabia. Water, too, is wasted even as the arid kingdom faces declining resources. According to reports, Saudi Arabia consumes 263 litres of water per capita per day, double the daily world average though the Saudi government aims to reduce it to 150 litres by 2030.