Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A musing on WASTE.

Great post by Wendy Thomas of Simple Thrift on how much edible food we throw away.

As I said in her comments, with 5 kids under the age of 8, we have a LOT of 'accidental' food go to waste: the 2-year-old drops half his sandwich on the floor, the clumsy 6-year-old knocks her milk over ... again, the picky 7 year old refuses to eat something and plays with it till no one else will eat it either, and so on.

But all recoverable bits of organic matter in our house go either into the slop buckets to go to the pigs or the chickens, or onto the compost heap.

I don't consider this waste as it goes to make more food for my family.

But most hoseholds aren't like Wendy's and mine - or any other of the thrifty folks I follow on Twitter or whose blogs I read. Most people make WAY more food than their families will eat. They cater to their overindulged children by fixing even more, different, food when they refuse what was cooked.  Many will carefully save leftovers (in expensive matching plasticware, natch!) but then it rots in the fridge because no one can be arsed to - or most likely - is too prissy to, eat leftovers.

A huge number, like some of my inlaws and their married-ins; simply chuck it, still warm, into the garbage disposal. (Then they toss those paper plates, napkins, paper towels, plastic cups, forks, spoons, etc into the most expensive brand of black plastic trash bag you can buy so it all can hurry to bulk up the landfill ... for the next 30 years.)

This behaviour makes me retch.

OK, fine. You don't have pigs or chickens: cool.  You live in an apartment: no problem. The closest you come to gardening is paying some people darker than you to cut your lawn. WhatEVER.

Then stop making so much food. Stop buying stuff that's on sale just because it's on sale. Stop buying stuff just because you have a coupon for it. Stop starting yet another diet that's doomed to fail and going through your kitchen throwing out all the 'bad' stuff and then running to the store to buy loads of the 'good' stuff (much of which you'll turn out to hate.) Plan meals. Make lists. Stick to them. Use simple, basic ingredients.  If you buy washed, chopped lettuce in a plastic bag, that's going to go bad quicker than a humble head of lettuce that you actually have to *gasp* break up yourself.

Do you really want your kids to watch the news of thousands of children their age in 3rd world countries who die of starvation every day, then watch mom blithely scrape plates loaded with food into the garbage?

Wasting food is just as bad as wasting electricity or petrol. Every bit you waste of anything not only impacts your purse but affects the environment in the form of waste treatment and landfills. PLUS, the more you waste the more the companies cheerfully produce, using resouces, damaging our planet, and so on.

Most of all, you are illustrating to your children a horrible lesson: "I don't give a damn".  "I don't care about waste because it's all about me and what's convenient and easy for me right this red-hot second. Who cares what the economy, society, or the planet looks like 30 years form now. It's all about Me. Right. Now."

Nuh-uh. Not me. Not THIS mom.

And you don't have to either.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:07 am   0 comments


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