It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wasted Food

I read an article last week that stated that the average family wastes 14% of all the food they buy in a year.  No source was given for this information so I don't have a way to gather more statistics.  Based on my own experiences I can't question the validity of the statement.  At first I thought that when you think of 14% as a percentage that is not very much.  Then I thought of it in the quantity of food wasted and decided that 14% is a lot.  After thinking about this for a while I decided that 14% may really be a low estimate.  I would think it could be as high as 20-25% if you include the food thrown out in restaurants.

I grew up in a family that did not waste food.  My parents grew up on farms in the Depression and nothing was wasted.  So it was in our modern family.  If I did not eat all the food on my plate I was severely chastised.  Even if there was just a small serving of a vegetable left over it was saved (and re-heated and eaten).  Throwing food away was not an option.  So deep down inside I don't like to throw away food, but alas, I do.

As a young wife and mother I planned every meal for the week and shopped once a week.  Usually just about everything was eaten before the next shopping trip.  Except for the leftovers that weren't a hit the first time around that would turn into something that resembled a science experiment in the bottom of the refrigerator.  Oh, now I blame wasted food on the fact that I live alone and it is hard to feed just one person.  I try to shop very carefully and only buy exactly what I need for a few days at a time, but it seems that I always end up with something that goes bad before I get around to eating it.

There are so many hungry people in the world today.  Right here in our city I know there are children that only get the free meals at school and nothing else to eat.  I know that hunger is real because our church has a small food pantry that is open for a few hours one day a week.  They can not keep the pantry stocked with food, there is such a demand (and I don't know how to say this except to say that the church is in a "nice" part of our city so hunger doesn't have boundaries).  I wish there was a way to feed the hungry of the world with the 14% of the food that is wasted.

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