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Fasting Declining Consumption?

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Millions of Islam devotees in Indonesia, and even in the world, performed fasting during Ramadhan. One would fast for hours to control both physical and mental need and desires. On paper, fasting is believed to drop the consumption of food.

Fasting is not only done by Islam believers. Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), for instance, called Catholic believers to perform fasting as an action to cope with climate change. GCCM calls Catholic devotees not to eat meat every Friday to cut down demand for meat from farming industry as one of the blames of greenhouse (methane) contributors to the atmosphere.

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Initiative of fasting as the climate change actions is also echoed by Interfaith Summit on Climate Change through Fast for Climate action. Thousands of young people of interfaith, religious leaders and green activists perform fasting a month as solidarity action to the victims of climate change, spiritual exercises and call for world leaders to make prompt movement in anticipation of climate change.

Fasting is commenced from early dawn to sunset. With the halt of energy supply from body for hours, body metabolism works on different scheme. Fasting makes white blood cell split up which increases immunity. Cell regeneration prevails relatively faster.

Belgian scientist Christion de Duve introduced autophagy terminology in midst of 1960s to explain the acceleration process of cell regeneration. The dead cell and used protein are put into a ‘cell bag’ to be destroyed. The dead cell has made a person vulnerable to ailment, wrinkles on the face and aging. The findings led Duve to Nobel prize on medical issue in 1974.

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Breaking fasting is a joyful moment in which people celebrate this with various kinds of meal. It is less possible to find only single type of menu during the fast breaking. The joy had happened even before Ramadhan month with the mounting demand for food that leads to food price hike.

The rising demand for food goes along with the mounting garbage dump site. Banda Aceh City’s Public Order and Environment Office recorded the mounting volume of garbage by 18-20 tons per day as from 238 tons into 256 tons per day. Similarly it happens to Bandar Lampung, Jakarta and other major cities.

Growing consumption will drive the rising amount of food waste. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) names Indonesia on the second top food waste producer with 300 kilograms per person every year. The top food waste producer country is Saudi Arabia with 427 kilograms of food waste per person per year. The mounting consumption in a way goes in line with the growing risk of environmental damages.

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Ramadhan actually serves as the momentum to self-discipline to apply minimalistic lifestyle. The decision for consumption should be based on an urgent need. Besides, in Islam, human is created to become a caliphate on the earth to lead whose job, among others, is conserve the earth. It includes an effort to cut down excessive consumption which at the end will reduce the supporting capacity of the earth.

Fasting could serve as the momentum to remember that climate change is real and is taking place currently. For the reason, Pope Francis in 2020 called for ecological repentance so that human has more love and care to the universe sustainability. Ecological fasting could serve as the public call of earthlings to stop using hazardous things that damage environment leading to climate change on the earth.

Editor: Leo Wahyudi

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