Thursday, August 23, 2012

"You're not excused 'til you finish your dinner…"

I don't know if you ever heard that when you were a kid, I really don't remember any such admonition, although I'm pretty sure my siblings and I got the "you have to take at least one bite" treatment from time to time….

I'm a pretty good eater, I eat almost anything, but I don't do okra and I don't do snails and I don't do calamari, and maybe there are a few more I could mention if I took a little time, for instance, oatmeal isn't one of my big favorites, but I do like raw oysters and in my younger years I was a fan of steak tartare….

Anyway, I started thinking about what I do eat and don't eat because I read this Aug. 22 piece on, see full text here, and I was stunned. Americans don't eat 40% of the food they buy. Yow. I had this quick flashback about getting an earful on "all the starving people in China," I guess in the 1950s there were an awful lot of starving people in China, and elsewhere…a lot of starving people in the world still....

Anyway, 40% wastage is real bad news. According to, discarding all that food costs us $165 billion a year, wastes one-quarter of our fresh water, and accounts for almost one-quarter of methane gas emissions, which are screwing up our atmosphere.

Half of fresh seafood goes to waste, and more than half of the harvest of fruits and vegetables never gets into anyone's tummy.

So, I'm going to try harder to eat the peaches when they're fresh, and remember the plastic container of romaine in the bottom bin of the frig, and remember to reach for the old bottle of mustard in the back of the frig instead of opening a new one, and apply a little discipline to eat those great leftovers while they're still great…

…and once or twice I've tried to order a smaller portion in the restaurant, I'm going to keep trying…

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