Many of us were told as kids to clean our plate because “people were starving in India” (or China, or Bangladesh, or Haiti, depending on our generation). Maybe it was just me, but I never understood the logic of how eating the remaining bits of dinner on my plate would put food into the mouths of people in need.
Here’s a different perspective on wasting food and the impact that it has on our environment. The article made me reflect on my own food buying habits since I generally overbuy because I want ingredients to be in my fridge or pantry when ‘inspiration strikes’ and I want to create a new dish. I realize that I need to get better at creating new recipes with what I have than stocking 8 different types of cheese (for example) so that I have the perfect one to grace a new pasta dish I’m working on.
The food expiration date/best buy date conundrum is also well explained in the article and has convinced me that even if the food pantry won’t take my recently expired cans of beans or out of date dried pasta, my family is not going to get sick if I use them up before I buy more from the grocery store!
As someone who cares about our environment, it was a wake up call to realize that wasting food means the land, water, and resources used to grow the food that we toss are wasted, too. The article states that 24% of the water used to grow crops is wasted and that food waste rotting in landfills is producing methane which is 25% more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. Those are pretty compelling stats – but are they enough to get us to change our wasteful habits?