My Grandma’s mantra

Okay, so my daughters are volunteering at a food pantry packing and handing out food to the needy (which officially makes me a proud mama 😉 ). One of my daughters is doing it for class credit, and the other is helping out of her own free will. Neither is complaining even though this means giving up their beauty sleep to be out there in the early morning hours. I tagged along one week and found myself busy working the back benches, and yes, I loved it! planning to go again.

Every week, there are long lines of people who can’t afford to feed themselves and their families coming through the door. It breaks my heart to see the kids who come along with their parents to collect food. Yeah, it makes me wonder why people waste food when there are so many people who can’t even afford to put food on their tables. I don’t get it.

Recently, my daughters were stunned when they overheard a student at the cafeteria telling her friends how she loves to pile her plate high with food which she never finishes it and ends up throwing all away. Question is why take so much food when you know there’s no way you can eat it all? Apparently she just loves seeing all that food on her plate, she explained to her friends. Huh?

I know someone who, when her husband calls to say he’d be home late from work, would instruct her maid to throw away all the food that’s been saved for him. Every time I heard her say that, it made me wince. She declares that excess food from all her meals go right down the drain, they never eat leftovers. What a waste! Some leftovers are even more flavorful the next day, and there are so many ways to get creative with them you’ll never guess they were last night’s dinner.

And apparently she’s not alone. My cousins would allow their then below 10-year-old kids to order adult portions of whatever they wanted. In many cases, it’s obvious (to me, at least) that the portions are way too big for kids that age but she would tell them, “If you can’t finish, just leave it”. Question is, why not just share or get the kiddy meals in the first place? Nothing wrong with sharing, if you ask me.

When my kids were younger, they would always share. I can see where sharing can be a problem sometimes for kids with preferences. I’m lucky my kids have always been agreeable and never fought over food. Even now, we often share our orders. If it’s not enough to go round or we want more, we can always order again. That way, we don’t end up wasting food or stuffing ourselves silly. Make sense, right?

When I was growing up, my Grandma would tell me, “Don’t waste food, think of all the starving people, be grateful you get to eat all this good food”. It was her mantra which I have passed on to my kids and hopefully they will do the same. From young, my kids have been trained to lick their platters clean and not to take more than they can finish. My youngest daughter is so cute. On the rare occasion when she had food left on her plate, she would say softly, “Sorry, food, I can’t eat any more and you have to go to waste”. This kinda sums up how we feel about wasting food.

How about you? What are your views on food wastage?

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