Sure, we all do what we can. But Americans clearly are much more spoiled when it comes to waste. Spinach looks questionable? Toss it out, buy another. Can’t finish the last few spoons of a sauce? Throw it out, whatever. Restaurants in particular are bad – up to 40% of a restaurant’s produced food each day gets thrown out. And some restaurants aren’t even allowed to donate that food to the homeless. US restaurants REALLY need to downgrade portion sizes. Its just disgusting and its absurd. No, i do not need a 1600 calorie pasta for dinner – a simple small yet filling meal will do JUST FINE, thank you.
And American consumers? Some of them order these meals and eat whatever they can and dispose of the rest. Some of them can’t even afford to eat out. And some of them (not all) feel bad. You’ll hear a mom telling her kid to “Finish that meal because there are starving kids in india!” – This isn’t solving a thing. A kid eating a 2000 calorie pasta for dinner alone does not solve the problem. Nor does his obesity in ten years and his rising healthcare costs due to the obesity. We need to return to the basics – simple, whole, unrefined foods with minimal processing and a focus on savoring the tastes and flavors instead of mindlessly gulfing down an entire bag of doritos. Believe me, i love Doritos – but we need to moderate.
And of course we have eating CONTESTS…and men pride themselves on their ability to eat absurd amounts of steak.
So..what’s the solution? I mean its all about perspective. We don’t know any better in America since we have the leeway and the luxury of being ABLE to purchase more. Its all about consumer power and knowledge. I know rich kids that are freegans and they certainly have the ability to consume foods in excess and throw away whatever they want without their wallets being penalized.
Comments that i liked:
“My flatmate discards about 40-50 % of his food. Oh how it enrages me! We should all be like that Irish caravan guy who’s in the Guardian every few weeks telling us how to make toothpaste out of ground crocodile toenails and gnaw on tree bark as a substitute for lollipops. Only then could we learn to survive as a responsible human race! And the first measure to be taken in our new world order? Tell my flatmate he’s a twat!”
“I suspect most people in Western countries – not just America – regard food principally as a pleasurable commodity rather than a vital source of nutrition. We don’t eat because we are hungry – not really hungry – we eat for pleasure. Food is abundant and inexpensive. McDonalds offers “dollar menus”. In stores, buying in bulk is regarded as a abetter bargain and so we are encouraged to buy large quantities of food that we don’t end up consuming. (If we do consume it, we end up fat and unhealthy.) Restaurants pile huge portions on large plates. We take it all for granted. The solution is tricky. Although we are a relatively wealthy nation, the wealth is by no meand evenly distributed. Raising the price of food will severely afflict the less advantaged in the country who already find providing for their families tough going.
We need better education and more personal responsibility. So we’re pretty much buggered.”