Imagine this: you go to the market on a hot day to buy your groceries. You buy a variety of food, perishables, and the non-perishables, fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken and fish, some fresh milk, yoghurt, and the like. You place all these items in your car that have been in the sun for several hours and you spend another couple of hours in traffic in that same hot, metal car. When you finally get home, very exhausted, you decide to go inside and rest a bit before bringing in your shopping. When you eventually do, you place your items in the fridge, freezer, cupboards, and everything in their places. The following day you bring out some of your ingredients to make a meal, it comes out great, you eat and a couple of hours later you begin to feel sick. You think back to your vegetables and how you thought they did not seem right vowing not to buy from that particular grocer again while you end up going to a hospital to get drugs for your treatment.
Several things happened in that scenario. A man lost a valuable customer, a source of his income, you lost money spent buying food that ended up spoiling and you got sick causing you more money on treatment, which means many others will probably get sick as a result as well. These are some of the dangers of bad food preservation.
From the farmers to the distributors, vendors, and to consumers, our food goes through a lot of wary conditions, and in all of that, a lot of times, the food is not even preserved well. Food that could save millions of lives, increase incomes, and put meals on the tables of families is wasted every day due to the negligence of appropriate preservation. This condition has not only robbed the farmer of valuable income, the consumer of appropriate food, but the nation a part of its Gross Domestic Product.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, largest national economy, leading oil exporter, and largest food producer. According to research done by the World Bank, each year Nigeria loses and wastes 40% of its total food production, equal to 31% of its total land use and producing 5% of the country’s GHG emissions. A huge part of this is a result of the lack of importance attached to and the inability to provide suitable methods for food preservation.
Not only does badly preserved food cause economic decline but also health conditions. Food poisoning is largely caused by the poor preservation of foods of all kinds. When a food has been contaminated with food poisoning bacteria, it may taste, smell and even look good and healthy. This bacteria grows rapidly when the temperature of food is kept between certain ranges and fluctuates. Oftentimes, foods such as tomatoes, when transported from farms to storage to the markets and the final consumers, undergo a lot of temperature changes which result in these bacteria forming and growing rapidly. When a person ingests this bacteria, one may begin to experience a series of health issues which may include cramping, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea and sometimes it may result in death.
All these and more are reasons why food preservation is a very important part of improving our story. Placing great importance on food preservation helps us get a step closer to achieving the first 3 sustainable development goals; No poverty, Zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, and even more. Placing essence on food preservation saves jobs, increases incomes, saves lives, and improves our country’s economic state.
By providing cooling technologies at every point of the supply chain, we offer a solution to avoid food waste, job loss, money loss and health challenges as a result of bad preservations. Now we get to save a large percentage of the food previously lost to this pandemic.
So it’s not just about how well the food was preserved after it leaves the farm, but also every journey after. All this plays a major part in our food preservation and in turn improving our lives.