I like to shop on Saturdays. In an ideal world, the fridge is cleaned out Saturday morning, a list is made, and before the end of the day we are set up with supplies and a meal plan for the week. I don’t always get to the purge, however, and if I miss a week, the following week presents with something that might look like this:
Throwing out this much food makes me feel guilty. I was part of the generation that grew up hearing, “Someone is starving in India!” and “Waste not want not”. Back then, I used to say (inside my head), “Great-send these mashed potatoes to India because I am sick of mashed potatoes!”
Then, I couldn’t conceive of a world where “starving” literally meant that someone did not have enough food to keep them alive. Now, these old thoughts run through my head and I know that it’s true; someone is hungry. Many are hungry. They probably live a lot closer than India and if I had not cooked a couple of meals that I cooked, replacing them instead with leftovers, I would have less waste (and more time and money).
I read a story a few months ago and every time I throw away food I think of it. It was about an 11-year old refugee living in a camp. She was in charge of securing food for her brother and father because her mom was not there to do it. She went daily to an area where people consumed their meals and collected bread crumbs from the ground. One of the comments she made to the reporter was that, “People are so wasteful.”. And she didn’t mean me. I doubt she could have conceived of a waste as great as mine. She meant the other refugees. The ones who allowed bread crumbs to fall to the ground. What would she think if she saw the amount of food I threw out?
I started this post almost a year ago and left it languishing in my draft pile. More leftovers. I never posted it because I felt ashamed of the amount of food we were wasting when there are people like that little girl scouring the ground for crumbs. I vowed to do better; shop more often, buy less, use it up. I’ve curbed our food waste over the last year. My goal this year is to curb our “stuff” waste. You know what I mean, right? All the stuff we did buy or want to buy that we don’t need. What do you do to avoid waste? What do you do to avoid temptation?