Do you throw away about a third of the food you buy?
I do have respect for the plants and the miracle a seed represents. Since I grew up on a farm, complete with pigs, a milk cow, and chickens, I’ve had close contact with other food sources too. A Wiccan friend raises her own chickens, she explained to me she didn’t want the energy from eggs that came from overcrowded chicken farms where the hens are forced to sit in tight cages never feeling the light of day or grass under their feet.
Do you respect your food? Know where it comes from? Even care? At the elementary school where I work, I cringe every day as I watch children destroy food while playing with it, then dumping it into the trash. They often toss untouched fruit, veggies and unopened milk into the trash. When offered seconds, the kids line up when they never eaten their initial food. Even those who brought their lunch, often toss unopened lunch items. There is so much disrespect in throwing away food.
- Throwing out food dismisses the effort that went into making it. Gordon Ramsey had his children raise a rabbit for a recipe to allow them to know where the food comes from. Realizing an animal dies for every burger you eat might make you more respectful or possibly a vegetarian.
- Not eating food, taking more than you can eat, or even playing with it negates its value. As a parent, I know those lunch-sized items don’t come cheap. Parents and sometimes grandparents fix the lunches with consideration and love, often including a note from home. Trashing the unopened fruit cups and juice packs is not only wasteful, but rude.
- Rushing through eating, eating at your desk and eating while watching television or driving denies food importance. Eating is one of the most important things we do to survive. It should be done with some mindfulness. Not too surprising, people who eat while doing other things often overeat because they are unaware of what they did eat.
- Presentation honors the food. Go to any Asian restaurant and often the food is almost too beautiful to eat. How food looks does affect our appetites. When someone works hard to create something delicious, grabbing a plate and sitting down in front of the television doesn’t honor the food or whoever fixed it.
- Food waste is a supreme insult to those who go hungry.
window a starving child asking, "Why won’t they share even the crumbs, especially when they have so much?" My mother used to tell me to clean my plate becuase kids were starving in China. Well, it doesn't work quite like that. We can not take as much since we don't intend to eat it all. Americans tend to eat more than one serving and often load their plate down with more than they need. Eating a portion size may stretch a meal to two meals as opposed to ending up as garbage or on our waistlines. Once food is wasted it can't be retrieved. Wilty veggies can go into stews and soups. ( Yep, it involves cooking.) You have something you don't think you'll eat, take it to work. Canned goods not being used? Rotate your food so it does get used as opposed to freezer burn. Use the food in your pantry as opposed to buying more. Have a meatless dinner and donate the money you save to a local food bank.
My school gives the unused food to the local shelters. They can’t give away apples that have been stabbed with forks or bananas bruised from being using as a projectile, or milk poured onto trays. They can’t give the extras students took, but never ate. The students’ behavior not only shows disrespect to the food, but to those who prepared it, and those who had none, but also themselves that they’re unable to act in a dignified fashion.
Not all children are like this. There are those who carefully deposit their undamaged food in pans designated for the shelter. These are the same students, who don’t throw food, leave trash or the floor, or thank me when I do something for them. These are unfortunately the minority. The one who show great care for their food are usually recent immigrants too. It could be because the children who attend the school have never gone to bed hungry. They wrongly assume that food will always be there for their asking preferably something loaded with chemicals and packaged in cellophane.
It seems like such a simple thing, taking time to consider what is going into your body. Every time we eat, we are transferring energy. Native Americans would thank the spirit of whatever animal they killed to survive. They honored the animal in this fashion.
Even the traditional sit down dinner with the family around the table was a way we respected each other. It was the basis for children learning table manners and how to act appropriately. Perhaps, my parents would have rather been elsewhere than riding herd over us, but it was what they did.
You may believe food has spirit, then again, you may not, but it won’t hurt you to slow down and consider what you’re eating. Who knows it might even cut down on indigestion.