Monday, January 26, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

While browsing the internet for inspiration on post ideas, I found this statement:
Talking of waste, it was illegal to throw out food fit for human consumption during the war. People were fined for putting bread out for the birds.
Could you imagine if we applied that same standard to our lives now? Just how much perfectly fine food is tossed on a daily basis?

Recently, I was in a Quizno's for lunch and saw the sandwich maker cut off the 2 ends of a loaf of bread then toss them into a trash can.

I asked, "You aren't throwing those away are you?" He said, "Yep, there is nothing we can do with them."

The store manager joined into the conversation and said that his father had asked to have them when the shop first opened. The father intended to make croutons out of them. That lasted for just a few days, when there were more bread ends than he could possible keep up. The manager next looked into donating them to a local soup kitchen, thinking a hungry person wouldn't mind using the rounded end of a bread loaf to sope up the last bits of soup. But he was turned away there as well. There were too many rules and regulations about food donations to even make that possible.

What if, I suggested, he bagged them up and left them outside his door at night, in hopes that a hungry person or family could scoop them up. No go there either. If he did that, his shop would be fined for littering.

I know we can't control the laws and regulations that prevented that Quizno's manager from making use of his perfectly fine food, but we can control what we throw away from our own kitchen. I want to encourage you, and myself, to make the best use of all the food we purchase. I often end up throwing out bagged salad because it end up rotting in our veggie drawer before we finish it. I'm going to try to only buy what I know we will eat and make sure we eat what I buy.

What food do you waste the most?


  1. It is truly sad - one of the main things that makes me feel good about living in Mozambique is there is always someone who is willing to take the stuff I have to pass on - it makes me feel philanthropic - like I'm doing something good without really sacrificing anything. Here in the US I have to PAY to get rid of my junk. It makes me think harder about the "junk" I buy, but I feel awful seeing so much go to waste here.

    (The flip side - it's impossible to find quality second hand toys, craft scraps, etc for reasonable prices in Africa - they are all very expensive even though used.)

  2. As an HT to Jennifer, I can say she's managed to get rid of a lot of our junk through a local Freecycle program. She simply posts a list of items she doesn't need on the forum and people respond offering to come take it off our hands. She's had people come and take empty DVD cases, empty baby food jars, and a plethora of other items. Who would have thought someone out there was looking for a box of empty DVD cases?


We intend this blog to be a discussion about wartime living, so we always welcome your thoughts.