Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Feeling wasteful today?

I found an interesting article on line the other day. It said that almost half of the food produced is wasted, either by us in the kitchen or by those in its production and distribution.
Have you ever heard of Dumpster Diving? Some people in the big cities do it to scrounge out food, and with good reason, because the wasted food is sometimes still neatly packaged and within its best before dates. The reasons are varied, too. No market for the product, the packaging is damaged, the refrigeration machine acted up for a short time.

Out it goes. And hungry or poor people jump into Dumpsters to retrieve it.
Now, I don't have a pat answer for this. But I'm concerned about our waste. Sure we can compost it and produce more food, but the energy spent to get it there could have been used for something better. Like saving our planet.
Okay, before you figure I'm standing on a soapbox, (I usually tell my readers that I am before hand) I want to tell you that social issues are part and parcel of my August release, Silent Protector.
(Aha, you knew there would be a segway into advertizing, didn't you? Well, busted, like a certain make believe scientist with a foil flying saucer)
In Silent Protector, my hero is starting up a new anti-poverty program in a tiny community, and thinks he can do it all, without anyone's help. My heroine is not a wealthy socialite, nor is she one who feels guilty at my hero's self sacrifice. In fact, she bluntly tells him off for it.
And we also need people to remind us of waste. Wasting food, resources, and of course, wasting God's offer of help and comfort.
Are you wasting things? (And please, don't say, 'time' because you're reading this!! Please!)
What small thing can you do to help your part of the planet?


PamelaTracy said...

Here's my confession. I cleaned out the pantry the other day and threw away boxes of CheezIts. See, the local grocery store often has get four cartons of soda plus two boxes of CheezIts. I never remember we have the CheezIt's. I think I had six boxes in my pantry. All had expired (No, they weren't lying on their sides grasping little cracker breaths). What I need to do is take them to church and donate them to the pantry.

Linda Hall said...

Interesting article, Barbara! I'm going to put this link on my webpage.

Debby Giusti said...

Pam, my hubby works with our church food pantry and they can't distribute canned or boxed products that are out of date. Check with your church to see their policy.

Now baked goods are a different case...
Barbara, our Publix stores pull bakery items that are still yummy off their shelves! The store contacts our church to pick up the pulled items, and they are distributed. Many folks who have trouble making ends meet enjoy delicious cakes and breads because Publix ensures nothing goes to waste!

BTW, I saw an Oprah show of New Yorkers with good jobs, gleaning food from trash bins. Evidently, it's becoming quite the "green" thing to do.

Lynette Eason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynette Eason said...

I know, I feel so bad when I have to throw out food. Sometimes good food that was left over and we COULD have eaten, just didn't. And I'm probably pretty bad about throwing stuff away that I'm just not sure I should eat or feed to my family. A bad case of food poisoning involving a hospital visit and IV fluids has made me super paranoid about food and possible spoilage. But I think it's a shame we waste as much as we do! Thanks for the heads up and the reminder to be good stewards of all that we have!

Dana Mentink said...

The biggest waste I can think of is those horrible plastic water bottles. We're drowning in them! Use your metal bottles, people! PLEEAASE.

Barbara Phinney said...

Girls, you all left wonderful messages. Pam, I know, stuff gets shoved to the back of the pantry. We should be thankful we have food in there.
Linda, thank you for the link. It's a topic worth discussing.
Debby, I'm so glad your church has a food pantry, and I know grocery stores around here that donate plenty to our food banks.
If they have perishables left over, they bring them to our church on Sunday and we can help ourselves, because our food bank isn't open on Mondays.
I've heard there are a lot of people Dumpster Diving, but I hadn't heard about New York.
Lynette, we do need to be careful. No one wants anyone to get sick. I guess one way is to cook and buy so as not to waste. It's hard, though, isn't it?
Dana, I have a well, and dislike the town water nearby, so I am always toting my metal bottle around. We even take big water cooler bottles of our water to the school because it's so good. And safe, too, because we test it, whereas the town water is terribly clorinated.
Thank you so much girls for stopping by. I really think this is something we need to think about all the time.