Wasting Food

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    Nov 01, 2011 2:26 AM GMT
    Something I've noticed more and more lately that really irritates me is the amount of food people waste.

    For example: I know portion sizes at most restaurants are really big, and it's probably better that we don't sit there and eat it all at once. But if I'm eating out with family or friends I will always take home whatever I don't eat. Some people I know will leave literally half their food on the plate without taking it home...it's gotten to the point that I'll even offer to take it home for them, not because I'm a fatass, but because I can't stand the thought of just throwing out enough food to potentially be a meal for someone when people on this planet are dying of starvation. I mean feeding it to my dog would be better than letting it go to waste.

    Another example: Yesterday my mom (yes I'm 23 and live with my parents, temporarily post-college) asked me if she could throw out a thing of turkey because there were "only four slices left." I said no, it was still good, and that I'd eat the rest of it before opening the next one. I mean WTF? Why would you throw out food that's still perfectly good?

    This is just my rant for the day, but I think it's pretty ignorant to just throw out food and not think twice about it like a lot of us do. Not with all the crap that's going on in the world today. The saying "there are starving kids in China" that I'm sure a lot of our parents used to try to get us to eat our food when we were kids might not have been very effective, but I think it's the right idea. Does anyone else feel bad about wasting food?
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    Nov 01, 2011 2:37 AM GMT
    CLING WRAP is essential to my diet.

    Instead of tossing food----OR EVEN WORSE....eating more than I need,

    I choose to WRAP. (sounds like a safe sex motto, doesn't it?)

    YES, I hate to waste food. Thanks for reminding us.
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    Nov 01, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    I thought I was the only one who did this anymore! My partner always tells me it's because my parents lived through the Depression and it marked me in the womb. Glad to hear I am not alone!
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    Nov 01, 2011 2:52 AM GMT
    i worked in a restaurant, and it bothered me how much food we threw away each night--food that ppl didn't take home. when i go out 2 eat, i always bring home any food i can't eat.

    i have a sister who brings home the leftovers, but refuses 2 eat them. i go visit her a lot. haha (hey, i'm a college student.) besides, a lot of food tastes better the next day.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Nov 01, 2011 3:00 AM GMT
    I'm with you. Even when some of the veggies get a bit past it, they make great soup. And what simply can't be used, I compost. It's even kind of fun.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:10 AM GMT
    you should see how supermarkets deal with food. Horrible.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    tailgater_3 saidi worked in a restaurant, and it bothered me how much food we threw away each night--food that ppl didn't take home. when i go out 2 eat, i always bring home any food i can't eat.

    i have a sister who brings home the leftovers, but refuses 2 eat them. i go visit her a lot. haha (hey, i'm a college student.) besides, a lot of food tastes better the next day.


    It would be interesting to see statistics on how much food is thrown out in restaurants each year. Enough probably gets thrown out to feed a good portion of the starving population of the world.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:15 AM GMT
    One obvious solution would be to reduce these ridiculous portion sizes at restaurants, but that will never happen.

    Some people I used to know would collect older food from stores, like bakeries, and give it to the needy. The food was still good. It just wasn't as fresh, and people wouldn't buy it.

    I used to bring extra food home when I had a dog. At least it didn't go to waste.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:16 AM GMT
    wolfpackbuddy said
    tailgater_3 saidi worked in a restaurant, and it bothered me how much food we threw away each night--food that ppl didn't take home. when i go out 2 eat, i always bring home any food i can't eat.

    i have a sister who brings home the leftovers, but refuses 2 eat them. i go visit her a lot. haha (hey, i'm a college student.) besides, a lot of food tastes better the next day.


    It would be interesting to see statistics on how much food is thrown out in restaurants each year. Enough probably gets thrown out to feed a good portion of the starving population of the world.


    It ends up being a point of stalemate, similar to the issue of how the tons of perfectly untouched food thrown out from school cafeterias can't ever make it to local homeless shelters because of health and safety legalities.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:17 AM GMT
    dekiruman saidyou should see how supermarkets deal with food. Horrible.


    There are many organizations now that work with supermarkets and restaurants to put food that would otherwise be tossed in the hands of soup kitchens, food pantries, etc. The situation isn't great, but it is improving in many places.

    A major reason that food gets tossed is that people freak out about the slightest blemish or the possibility that something may be less than fresh. Just watch people shop and you'll see how often they push anything that seems even a little old aside.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:18 AM GMT
    I almost dissoved a friendship over the same issue after my friend made 5 lbs of beef casserole (with 3 lbs of straight up 93% beef) and she left it out on the counter overnight after both of us ate half. The weird part is that when it comes to wasting food, I noticed that girls do it more than guys do. A lot more.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:20 AM GMT
    Look at me, I was raised with the "never waste food" mindset... It obviously worked too well for my belly icon_redface.gif
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:24 AM GMT
    this thread reminded me of an article i read. some 27% of all food from US supermarkets, cafeterias, restaurants, and our own homes ends up in landfills.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/weekinreview/18martin.html?pagewanted=all
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:25 AM GMT
    I suddenly feel pretty low, realizing how much food I have wasted this year.

    Several times this year, I took a big bag of chicken breasts out to defrost and forgot they were in the fridge. When I got around to grilling them, they smelled too bad to risk eating.

    Or worse, I grill an entire bag, thinking it will last a few days, only to get bored with them and throw them out at the end of the week.

    No more; thats a lot of money and food wasted. icon_sad.gif
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    Nov 01, 2011 4:20 AM GMT
    At home it's easy to control food portions, and not waste food. But when I'm eating out, I make sure to order smaller portioned foods.

    Another interesting aspect to this topic is that most cultures outside the US, frown upon taking home leftovers. But I hear they're starting to come around and realize there's nothing wrong with it. One example:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15106212
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    Nov 01, 2011 4:27 AM GMT
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es100310d
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=wasted-food-equals-wasted-energy-10-10-03
    The US wastes 350 million barrels of oil each year just wasting food.

    For comparison, the BP oil spill in the gulf was 172 million gallons (not barrels).

    The last time I dumped food in the trash was when I had a power outage about 15 years ago.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Nov 01, 2011 4:31 AM GMT
    Bullwinklemoos saidI almost dissoved a friendship over the same issue after my friend made 5 lbs of beef casserole (with 3 lbs of straight up 93% beef) and she left it out on the counter overnight after both of us ate half. The weird part is that when it comes to wasting food, I noticed that girls do it more than guys do. A lot more.


    Girls do it since society tells them that eating and food is bad. Which is ridiculous, since you just have to control what you eat and your activity levels. "Oh my god this chocolate cake is SOOO bad for me. This basmati rice is so buttery and delicious, which means I should NOT be eating it. I feel sooo gross for eating that entire hamburger, I didn't need that." Although now that I think about it, some gay men are the worst offenders when it comes to this behavior.
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    Nov 01, 2011 4:38 AM GMT
    wolfpackbuddy saidSomething I've noticed more and more lately that really irritates me is the amount of food people waste.

    For example: I know portion sizes at most restaurants are really big, and it's probably better that we don't sit there and eat it all at once. But if I'm eating out with family or friends I will always take home whatever I don't eat. Some people I know will leave literally half their food on the plate without taking it home...it's gotten to the point that I'll even offer to take it home for them, not because I'm a fatass, but because I can't stand the thought of just throwing out enough food to potentially be a meal for someone when people on this planet are dying of starvation. I mean feeding it to my dog would be better than letting it go to waste.

    Another example: Yesterday my mom (yes I'm 23 and live with my parents, temporarily post-college) asked me if she could throw out a thing of turkey because there were "only four slices left." I said no, it was still good, and that I'd eat the rest of it before opening the next one. I mean WTF? Why would you throw out food that's still perfectly good?

    This is just my rant for the day, but I think it's pretty ignorant to just throw out food and not think twice about it like a lot of us do. Not with all the crap that's going on in the world today. The saying "there are starving kids in China" that I'm sure a lot of our parents used to try to get us to eat our food when we were kids might not have been very effective, but I think it's the right idea. Does anyone else feel bad about wasting food?

    I'm the same way, but I feel like we're in the minority. I'm a vegetarian and my mom accidentally brought home a wrap with chicken in it for me to eat. Instead of throwing it away, I ate the wrap despite me being a vegetarian. I would rather go of my diet and eat meat than waste something.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Nov 01, 2011 4:40 AM GMT
    If something spoils before I can eat it, I will either compost it or feed it to my fishies (if it is veggie matter).
    If something spoils more than once, I don't buy it again unless I know I will eat it before it spoils.

    I can't stand it when people don't finish what's on their plates. I used to have a friend that would only eat 1/3 of her food when we would go out, and would throw out 2/3s of it. I would regularly order something light so I could finish her leftovers, since she never finished her food.

    Something that I have learned is just how effing hard it is to grow the food and get it to the table. For plants, you have to spend weeks coddling it from seed to harvestable size, as well as watering, fertilizer, and timing everything. My garden produce is much more precious to me than any food I can buy at the store for the sheer amount of effort I put into it.
    Have you tried growing your own grain before? And then refining it into flour? Takes fucking forever, and takes a ton of grains to produce one cup of flour. You don't let it go to waste when you have to harvest, clean, and grind your own flour.
    And livestock. Jeez. Raising the simplest of marketable organisms, such as a fish (Tilapia) takes at least 6 months from egg to harvestable size. It only gets harder as you go up the ladder. To think of the effort and energy it took to grow that organism, and the time and effort it took to kill, clean, and prepare the meat for you to eat it... that makes you more mindful of your food. We only waste it because we never realize what a precious commodity it is in the first place.
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    Nov 01, 2011 5:05 AM GMT
    I'm ashamed to admit that I'm exactly like this, I'm very sensitive when it comes to food (when it comes to everything actually), so if something smells like fridge or if it looks weird, then I won't eat it. I feel guilty so I sometimes give it to my dogs.icon_redface.gif
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    Nov 01, 2011 5:12 AM GMT
    wolfpackbuddy saidSomething I've noticed more and more lately that really irritates me is the amount of food people waste.

    For example: I know portion sizes at most restaurants are really big, and it's probably better that we don't sit there and eat it all at once. But if I'm eating out with family or friends I will always take home whatever I don't eat. Some people I know will leave literally half their food on the plate without taking it home...it's gotten to the point that I'll even offer to take it home for them, not because I'm a fatass, but because I can't stand the thought of just throwing out enough food to potentially be a meal for someone when people on this planet are dying of starvation. I mean feeding it to my dog would be better than letting it go to waste.

    Another example: Yesterday my mom (yes I'm 23 and live with my parents, temporarily post-college) asked me if she could throw out a thing of turkey because there were "only four slices left." I said no, it was still good, and that I'd eat the rest of it before opening the next one. I mean WTF? Why would you throw out food that's still perfectly good?

    This is just my rant for the day, but I think it's pretty ignorant to just throw out food and not think twice about it like a lot of us do. Not with all the crap that's going on in the world today. The saying "there are starving kids in China" that I'm sure a lot of our parents used to try to get us to eat our food when we were kids might not have been very effective, but I think it's the right idea. Does anyone else feel bad about wasting food?


    I feel bad when I waste food....which is very rare because I eat just about everything haha I have a small figure but a huge appetite. Thank GOD for my high metabolism!
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    Nov 01, 2011 5:17 AM GMT
    Maybe we aren't supposed to save the world. icon_confused.gif
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Nov 01, 2011 5:23 AM GMT
    We can just start eating people, no worries icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 01, 2011 5:26 AM GMT
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    Nov 01, 2011 5:35 AM GMT
    My roommate in Honolulu called me that "garbage disposal unit" because I would always eat the leftovers. I only threw food away when it went bad, and I did my best to make sure that food didn't go bad before being eaten.

    Waste not, want not.