Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reflections on Food Waste

I have long been appalled by Food waste, waste of myself, my family and my culture. On a personal and family level, it began by noting how many Foods seemed to become "science projects" in our refrigerator.  Their little ornaments of color and texture seemed to wave at me:  "Pay attention".  

When we would eat out, I noted that appalling amounts of Food were often served.  Some restaurant goers would ask for "doggy bags" but much of the food just went to the dump. We'd ask for "doggy bags", but then leave them on the table or in the fridge after they got home. I began to feel more comfortable in restaurants which offered only the amount of Food eaten.  Sometimes I would ask for a half portion, or eat from the list of appetizers.  It was less expensive too.

Many years ago, we 3 C's used to waste Food over and over again.  That was not our intention. We were busy and we just lost track. But was there something more? What I came to conclude was that the Food did not taste good, it wasn't the maximum living vitality. Were our bodies backing away? 

In those long years when we bought most of our Produce at the Grocery Store any time we wanted it, I remember the Strawberries in February. They looked like Strawberries but did not taste like Strawberries.  They also did not rot like Strawberries.  I remember the Apples which looked like Apples. That first bite told me they really weren't the Apples my taste buds desired.  And those Tomatoes which could have passed for Billiard Cues were the tipping point.  Something was wrong, deeply wrong, with an industrial process which lined up Produce appearing like Produce on the Produce Aisle.  It was better suited for Transportation and Shelf Life than for my Consumption.

Now we raise most of our own Food, we buy locally grown and we eat seasonally.  It's almost straight from the Garden. The Food has a different vibration and feel. We are less likely to waste. It is so very good. We also know exactly what goes into the food.  That's sweat off the brow and it's precious land space that the Earth provides.
If we do have Food waste, we have chickens who don't call any of that waste at all. They convert it into poop which enriches the soil. That's full circle.

One of the 1st areas that we focused on was not wasting Animal flesh. If 1/3 of the Chickens are wasted, does that mean that 1/3 more have to be raised and slaughtered to cover this waste?  I found that appalling. This little insight really drove me to action.

Looking at this overall: if 1/3 of the Food is wasted, does that mean that we could reduce Food production and land use by 1/3? Now that's a good idea. Give Mother Earth a rest. Save some of that Land for the Creatures and Plants who are our Kin on our Beloved Home.

This little entry would be incomplete without a "spiritual" insight here.  To me, the Creator gives us the Gift of Life.  With that Gift comes an abundance which supports Life itself.  I need to act consistently with the preciousness of that Gift.  To waste even a small part of that is to diminish that Gift of the Divine and my relationship to it.
While we are not perfect, we have made substantial strides in reducing Food waste.  That feels good. Life comes with Lessons.  This is a big one for us.

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