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Food is an important and essential part of everyone’s lives, and it is especially important during Ramadan, where food brings friends and families together to share and enjoy meals while strengthening relationships between one another.
However, with the Covid-19 pandemic and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) still going on, we may need to rethink ways of getting our Ramadan meals while staying safe. How, you may ask. Read on as we provide some ideas on getting a delicious Ramadan meal while under the current conditional MCO (CMCO).
Tip 1: Opt for eco-friendly food deliveries
While it is common nowadays to order food online and wait for it to be delivered to our doorsteps, it is important to also consider food deliveries that use eco-friendly food packaging and promote environmental sustainability.
GrabFood, a food delivery service favored among many Malaysians, encourages customers to opt for no-cutlery when ordering food (Grab, 2019). Another option is a Malaysian food packaging manufacturer named Foodabox, which designs, produces and delivers food packaging that is biodegradable! Better yet, their packaging is also customizable! To know more about what Foodabox offers, visit https://foodabox.com/.
Dish by Ili has a unique way of delivering Ramadan meals which is also eco-friendly. Instead of paper packaging, their food is delivered in a tiffin, which consumers are able to keep. Tiffin is a kind of lunch box or carrier that is widely used in Asia, and it is usually made of steel and aluminium, which can be reused. Their menus include both Western and local options, which are both halal. To learn more about what Dish by Ili offers, visit https://poskod.my/street-notes/poskod-bites-ramadan-tiffin-service-dish-ili/.
Tip 2: Abide to social distancing rule by utilizing E-Bazaar platforms!
Bazaars are deeply-ingrained in the fabric of Malaysian society, so much so that they have become popular tourist attractions and are as famous as some national institutions. Due to the current Covid-19 outbreak, the enticing smells and luring lights of our local bazaar this Ramadan will have to wait for another year.
But Ramadan bazaars are not only a destination for good and affordable food. They are also an opportunity for the local community to interact with each other, while providing good business for small local vendors and family-run stalls. This year, the community or Muhibbah spirit can live on virtually with apps such as Warong Digital e-Bazaar Ramadan.
The e-commerce platform is a joint undertaking by the Coalition of Malay Small Traders Association and Kiplepay Sdn Bhd, and can be accessed by downloading the latter’s e-wallet app (New Straits Times, 2020). With some 25% of over 20,000 local bazaar traders already registered (The Edge Markets, 2020), the app is a great platform to indulge in sumptuous Ramadan treats while helping out local vendors.
Meanwhile, in Selangor, the state government recently introduced an e-Bazaar Ramadan platform called Platform Selangor (PLATS), while Johor allocated RM3 million to help bazaar traders sell their products online this Ramadan (New Straits Times, 2020; The Star Online, 2020).
A gentle reminder: Remember to request for no-cutlery when ordering food!
Tip 3: Prepare home-cooked meals with loved ones!
Apart from food deliveries and e-bazaars, why not prepare your own Ramadan meals at home? There are so many benefits to preparing a home-cooked meal, and one of them is that food prepared at home is way healthier and eco-friendlier than buying outside food.
Apart from that, preparing your own Ramadan meals can be a fun activity done with family members of all ages! Passing down recipes from generation to generation will also keep the Ramadan tradition alive. To know more about the amazing health benefits of home-cooked meals, visit https://www.xtrema.com/blogs/blog/12-amazing-health-benefits-of-home-cooked-meals
Of course, in order to prepare a healthy Ramadan meal, we also need to search for high quality and nutritious ingredients. Here’s a good recommendation for that! Halal Food Master offers a range of ingredients, including Halal-Certified Food and Beverage products. To know more about this online marketplace and how they deliver their products, visit https://www.halalfoodmaster.com/.
For other stores and markets that you visit, do take extra note on their operation times, as they may close earlier during the CMCO period! However, for supermarkets, markets and convenience stores deliveries are allowed to continue without any disruption during the CMCO period (New Strait Times, 2020).
Tip 4: Contribute to food banks and help your local charities!
An integral part of the Holy Month is sharing meals as a community and charitability. In any crisis or pandemic, it is usually the most in need that suffers first.
While the current CMCO may prevent you from directly contributing to a social cause, there are many socially-geared organizations out there today that are helping out communities during these trying times. Take PichaEats, for example, which trains refugee families living in Malaysia to become professional cooks and runs a food delivery service linking these chefs to clients.
Using only halal-sourced ingredients, the organization recently reactivated their social initiative, The Zaza Movement, to distribute meals to front-liners and communities during Covid-19 while continuing to support the livelihood of PichaEats chiefs. Since the start of the MCO, the initiative distributed 13,000 meals to 25 locations. To learn how you can help their cause, visit their website: https://www.pichaeats.com/en/
There are a number of charitable and socially-geared organizations that you can contribute to today, such as The Lost Food Project (TLFP) and Pertubuhan Tindakan Wanita Islam (PERTIWI). Let’s take this opportunity to count our blessings and help those who need a hand.
While the global pandemic has forced us to defer the balik kampung tradition this year, Ramadan remains a time of fasting, prayer, reflection and moderation. The above is just some of the ways we can continue to observe the Holy Month.
While we are cooped up at home, we should also be mindful of the waste we are producing. Learning how to compost and repurpose used items is not only good for the environment – it is an excellent opportunity to bond with our loved ones.
To learn more about how to cut down our waste this Ramadan, read our article on waste reduction techniques here: https://bit.ly/6StepsWasteReduction
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