Wasted Food Is A Modern Tragedy Especially When People Are Struggling To Put Food On The Table

Wasted Food Is A Modern Tragedy Especially When People Are Struggling To Put Food On The Table

Crying over spilt milk, a common idiom that suggests not to worry about what has already been lost or thrown away, reflects our cultural view when it comes to food - and it's time to change this wasteful mindset.

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When is the last time you finished everything on your plate? When is the last time you felt guilty about throwing food away?

Our current culture has made us complacent in ignoring how wasting food here at home affects others, both at home and abroad. I was raised to only take as much as I would use, but in the midst of all-you-can-eat dining halls with unlimited swipes, I've lost sight of this fundamental value.

To conceptualize the extent to which our nation wastes food, imagine ordering a classic medium pizza sliced into 8 pieces. Now, take three of those pieces...and throw them in the garbage can. Then, imagine one of your eight neighbors who may be struggling to put food on the table. When the problems we face get personal, the issue of food going to waste strikes a little closer to home.

The National Resource Defense Council claims that 40% of food goes to waste and that one in eight families struggles to put food on their plate. At face value, the most ideal solution seems to be to minimize waste so that struggling families can eat, and it really is just that simple.

Here are a few of the factors that contribute to food waste and simple solutions to fix them

1. We don't know much about food safety - we would rather choose to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to most of our food, and throw it out before it is not fresh enough for consumption. The truth is, other than infant formula bottles which effectively have a "poisonous after" date, the rest of what we consume has no such definite date of expiry.

2. We can afford to throw food away - here in America the majority of us don't feel the financial burden if we throw away a few items that didn't get eaten in time. We can easily afford to throw it away without a dent in our conscious. However, using an application such as Grocery IQ can help you better visualize what is you're buying and throwing away on a weekly basis.

3. Our good intentions go bad - no one goes out and buys food with the intention of wasting it. Often, we are conditioned to seek out the freshest food available to us when it comes to produce. Then life gets busy and soon those bananas get all mushy and the salad we brought home last week starts to turn all shades of gross. For times when this does happen, turn to compost piles.

This past summer I created a compost pile in which I place all organic food products that goes to waste in addition to fruit and vegetable peels. Compositing is a productive way to utilize trash in order to provide other organisms with fresh new ways to survive. It's quite easy to dig a compost hole and to be safe, place a net over it to avoid attracting any unwanted guests.

Crying over spilled milk is rarely worth it, but when it comes to the food that gets wasted, it certainly is.

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10 Things People Who Addictively Drink Diet Coke Are Sick Of Hearing

In tribute to the most wonderful beverage in the world during my attempt to detox.
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Hi I'm Katie, and I'm a Diet Coke-aholic. It's been 28 days, 22 hours, 2 minutes, and a handful of seconds since my last Diet Coke and I think I'm going to die. I'm not kidding — I've had dreams about the stuff, it's bad guys. I figured with the new year I would try and be healthier. I said I would give up Diet Coke for a year, a whole year. So when I found myself sitting in my room missing the feeling of drinking a nice cold Diet Coke I couldn't help but reminisce on all of the super annoying things people say about my "addiction."

1. It'll cause cancer

The original study that “firmly concluded" that Diet Coke “definitely causes cancer" was done by Italian researchers where they overfed almost 2,000 rats aspartame (the main sweetener in diet soda) at a rate and concentration that no human being would ever likely consume. So although a link was found between aspartame dosage and cancer in rats a similar study on humans confirmed no link between the two. Maybe they'll find something in the future, but right now I get to drink my can guilt free. Science.


2. You know, Diet Coke won't make you skinny

I haven't been to the gym since October. Trust me, honey, I'm not drinking the stuff for the health benefits. I'm drinking it for the delicious taste.


3. Have you ever thought about cutting back a little?

No.


4. Have you ever thought about swapping it out for seltzer water or something else?

No. Seriously? Are you kidding me? Please stop suggesting stupid things.


5. Put the bottle down!

Some people think that it's a problem. I think that it's a solution.


6. Diet Coke is actually worse for you than regular Coke.

Ok cool. Thanks, doc.


7. Do you know how much money you're probably spending?

No, and I don't want to find out. I have been successfully avoiding the answer to this since 2010.


8. All that soda will impact your mood.

You're damn right it will. If I'm stressed, or sad, or angry — you name it, a Diet Coke is guaranteed to make me smile. So thank you for pointing this out because yes, Diet Coke does affect my mood.


9. The sugar will rot your teeth

a) It's the carbonation, not the sugar that rots your teeth b) I brush my teeth and practice other oral hygiene regardless so I think I'm OK.


10. You have a problem.

Yeah, it's you. I am fully aware that I drink more Diet Coke than some people but I'm OK with that.


Despite all of the nonsense people insist on talking to me about I will always have a special place in my heart for Diet Coke. See you in 2017, my love.

Cover Image Credit: Coca-Cola Co.

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7 Philosophical Ways In Which Winnie The Pooh Understands Food

Short easy words like "what about lunch?"

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Despite being a "Bear of Little Brain," Pooh really gets food. His philosophy behind food shines through the entire Hundred Acre Wood.

Here are 7 ways this "silly ol' bear" may not be quite so silly when it comes to food.

1. A highlight of the day is food.

"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like 'What about lunch?"

Pooh doesn't cut any corners with his simple love of food. To him, the highlight of a day is when he eats, what he eats, and with whom he eats it. Food is easily accessible to many of us living in the Western world, and viewing food as a source of joy gives us at the barest minimum several moments of happiness every day.

2. Food brings motivation and joy.

Routines have a comfort and an excitement in their own selves—food can be a consistent bright spot in your day. Having a routine or something you look forward to with your eating habits can make even the most stressful days positive. For Pooh it's honey. For some, it might be a piece of chocolate, or something green, or always eating breakfast. For me, it's a cup of tea.

3. Food eases loneliness.

Friends are important. And food is important. And the two can physiologically be correlated. Studies show that if a person is lonely, holding a hot cup of tea can make them feel less alone.

There will always be times in our life that we are alone, even just physically, even just for a night. Something to smile about can make the difference between being alone, and being lonely—and comfort food is comforting for a reason. When you're feeling a bit eleven o'clock ish, a bit of honey can be just the thing.

4. Food bonds people.  

"What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying 'What about a little something?' and Me saying, 'Well, I shouldn't mind a little something, should you, Piglet,' and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing."

Food is embedded in our lives every day. Our eating patterns form in relation to other people and is integrally linked to social groups. Sharing food with other people is one of our oldest forms of connecting with other people and creates an instant, natural bond.

5. Food has its own spiritual power.

Milne's cognizance of the spiritual nuances behind food is easily seen in this exchange between Piglet and Pooh. This moment, so simple, speaks volumes. Piglet recognizes that food brings comfort to a distressed emotional state, and food offers support to help Pooh find himself again.

Food (or its routines, or its comfort) can help bring us to a balanced, centered, more spiritual state. Also who hasn't been hangry? It's very difficult to be zen when you're hangry.

6. Food feeds the imagination.

The internationally famous chef Anthony Bourdain viewed food as a powerful storytelling tool. Some native American cultures believe food tells you where you've come from and where you're going. It can empower you to reassert control over your own self and your own life; it reunites you with your spiritual or imaginative self. ("For Bourdain," 2018).

Milne here captures the je ne sais quoi behind food—where food has not only a physiological and emotional influence, it also has an imaginative influence as well.

7. Food exists to nourish and fill us.

We need to eat to survive, and it doesn't take a Bear of Little Brain to tell us how wonderful it is that something we need is also something we find so much delight and joy in. Pooh got how beautiful it is to enjoy a good meal--and thankfully, with a yummy snack or a home-cooked meal or a trip out to eat, you can too.

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