While out for an evening stroll, I had to duck to avoid getting wet by a sprinkler that was hydrating someone’s grass. I guess I was bored because I started thinking, “Look at that. Watering lawns while people in Africa are dying for lack of clean drinkable water.” Then I thought of all the ways we waste precious water. Washing our cars, brushing our teeth and showering while the water runs…Then I thought of something else that we waste. Food.
Remember your parents warning when you didn’t eat your food and they had to throw it out? ”Don’t you know that in Africa someone is dying from starvation?” It didn’t really change anything, did it? We are still wasting our food. Been to a buffet lately? One of the biggest examples of food wastage right there. (I still love a good buffet. I call it unconditional love).
Wasting food and water is a relative thing. We have lots of it always available when we want it so why ration it, right? We are lucky to live in a country where we can eat and drink what we want when we want. We can also take baths or showers whenever. When such abundance is at our fingertips, it’s harder to not waste it. You take a bite of steak and it’s not to your liking and you throw it out because you know what a good steak tastes like and it’s not like this. Some don’t have that luxury but can you we be blamed? I think not really.
Should we stop watering our grass, stop washing the car, take less showers and conserve water? Maybe if you want to. Would it help? It might be as effective as those one-day gas boycotts. Should we still throw out food? It doesn’t matter the answer, we will always throw out food. Let’s be real here. So then what can we do? People in Africa are indeed dying for what we are throwing out. Heck, people down the street are in dire straits for lack of food. But if I eat that piece of steak instead of throwing it out, how would that curb world hunger? It’s not like someone in Africa owned the cow.
So what the point in talking about it if we are still going to waste resources that people are dying for? Respect. Yes, how about we respect what we have? Our water, food, etc. If we respect them then we would finish that steak but vow to make it better next time. We would shut off the water when while we brush our teeth. We would perhaps use a bucket instead of a hose to wash our cars.
If you don’t care about the dying Africans or the guy down the street, at least we should be thankful and respect what we have. Ultimately, we might inadvertently be saving the lives of those dying for what we are wasting.
Just my take.
Note: Even the Pope is feeling me. A day after I drafted this blog, the Pope released a statement saying that wasting food is like stealing from the poor.
- The Culture of Waste (percalamus.com)
- Food Loss and Waste: a Threat to Sustainability (ecoagriculturiste.wordpress.com)
- Pope: Wasting Food Is Like Stealing From The Poor (webpronews.com)
- Africa wastes 1.3bn tons of food annually – Commissioner (vanguardngr.com)
- 29 Smart and Easy Tips to Reduce Food Waste (greatist.com)
- Get in the habit of eating half of your meal (slimlean.wordpress.com)