Thursday, January 30, 2014

Food Waste in America

Last night for dinner I opened a plastic container of BBQ meat, slapped spoon fulls onto a hamburger bun, heated it in the microwave and yelled, "KIDS! DINNER IS READY!"

My husband came into the kitchen to tell me that what I "made" doesn't count as dinner.  I laughed. He is right. It wasn't. Everything on that plate was dead food. And so I grabbed a few oranges and milk and ice, and made an orange smoothie to go with it, along with a quick simple side salad. Not much better, but still...better.

And the reason we had the dinner that we had? No one really likes left-overs in our house. To even type that sentence in admittance is a little shameful. My family is surrounded by so much food, it is never an issue of someone going hungry. We have perfectly editable food in the refrigerator but it is ignored, pushed to the back in favor of a plastic tub of pre-made BBQ meat.

I need to really change my habits. My husband is a left-over eating champ. He doesn't waste anything. America could use a whole lot of people like him in the world. I am working towards that change, but not with as much gusto as perhaps I should be.  At least we eat our left-over produce, right?  I take an apple from the bin on one day, and I am willing to take another from the bin the next. Does that count as leftovers? :)

Here is an interesting article on leftovers and waste in America that was in Business Week. A quote from the article reads, "On average, my fellow citizens throw away 20 pounds of food each month, which amounts to $2,275 a year for a family of four, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."  Yikes. Maybe we should have sandwiches for dinner to use up the lunch meat and cheese before it goes bad, even though my upbringing and culture says that a sandwich isn't a dinner item.

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