Respecting Food: A Follow Up Post

First, I want to apologise for yesterday’s emotional outburst. It was unfair of me to paint everyone in Western Civilization as greedy pigs. While many of them are, it is not true of everyone.

Second, I am not sorry for what I said. If anything, I am sorry for how I said it. Personally, I think perhaps my harsh words were not too out of place. After all, I tried to be polite to a person who just threw out perfectly good food for the stupidest reason I have ever heard, and I was ignored for the most part. Maybe angry words should have been used instead?

b9350acd-ced5-4950-b269-686c93c61f3cWhere I am living now is  transitional housing. It is meant to help transition youth, ages 16-29, from homelessness to stability and housing. It is not a place where the rich go, but the poor. One would think that the people here would respect food: They would eat every last crumb last, they would plan their meals out, and would not waste anything. Instead, I see food that could last for meals wasting a way in the sinks; and cucumbers, green onions, and tomatoes thrown out because there was “too much food cut up.” All this by residents who are poor, not rich, but poor. Then we are all shocked when people say  people are lazy people who want things handed to them.

The poor are throwing out perfectly good vegetables, and wasting perfectly good pasta. What else are the poor in the western world wasting? What are the rich wasting?! Imagine how much still good food is thrown out by the wealthy in the Americas and Western Europe because there was too much?

 

foodwaste

Wow, some of the food in that picture is still good: Bananas are still good, apples look like they’re still good, and even some of the grapes! Yet they’re in a landfill! Problem?

Now you know why I am realising that the Western World is filled with greedy pigs from the billionaire in a mansion to the poor homeless youth living in transitional housing. Too many of us do not respect that food is a limited resource, and the seeming limitless supply we have in Western countries is a temporary blessing. We cannot think beyond our immediate circumstance how blessed we are to have so much, and we are clueless to how we are going to live when our time  as the lands of plenty is up.

Limitless has a limit on earth. Just like the climate changes, so does the wealth of countries. The West won’t be the land of plenty forever, and I weep for when that time comes because we will be helpless. We will have no clue how to stand underneath famine, know how to preserve our resources, and we will simply not know how to make do with less.

I am going to teach myself these lessons now. Next time I find myself with too much food I will store it in a container, give it to the food bank, or cook a big meal for some of my friends! I will not throw out good food. You should not throw out good food. The resident  at my dwelling place should not have thrown out that food. However, they did throw it out and it enraged me. It still enrages me, and it should enrage anyone who reads this.

Yet, I know it won’t. Comfort breeds contempt and laziness, unfortunately. Where will comfort be when we suddenly find ourselves in the western world with limited resources stretched thin among too many people? Where will our comfort be then? Will we still throw out food so easily, or will we hold onto it long after it is claimed by mould because we have no other choice?

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