Food represents time worked, things picked and processed, things moved miles and made ready for us to buy and consume. When we waste it, we waste all the time, energy and resources it took to get that food to our home.
Many of us learned that old saying from many years ago, that we should eat our food “because there are starving children in China.” I don’t know if that was ever true, or just a saying, but it’s unclear why one should eat more because there are children without food somewhere else. I think it was well intentioned, but guilt-tripping children to make them eat food they do not want is not a sound approach, in my view.
LET ME be clear. I do not favor requiring children to clean their plates. Child psychologists and psychiatrists think that is a bad idea, and on that I certainly agree with them. It is far better to teach by example, to demonstrate through one’s practices that we never waste food. Children follow our examples, not our instructions.
I am a meat eater. I eat meat because I’m human, and humans are designed to eat meat, fruit, nuts, vegetables and certain kinds of roots. But I respect the things I eat. I do not want an animal’s death to be wasted by tossing aside the meat its death produced. If it gave its life for me, the least I can do is not waste the meat derived from it.
The throwing away of food troubles me. Restaurants throw away some food, of necessity, but it is the groceries stores that must really toss a lot of items. Because of expiration dates and the nature of most produce, grocery stores always have food to throw away. I wish there was a way all that food could find its way to a senior citizens center, or some similar venue. It seems a shame to waste it.
WE HAVE the most plentiful food in the world right here in the United States. Even with the economy hurting so many in the manner it is, with the banking problems, the auto industry problems, the foreclosures, and the falling of the stock market, we still have the best food in the world. We have plentiful food, and it is conveniently available. We are never hungry. We never do without any food we need.
No country in the history of the world has ever had as much food readily available to it, and that’s something we need to remember, when we think things are rough. My parents knew what limited food meant. They communicated to me the importance of respecting food and not taking it for granted.
Those who have ears, let them hear.
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