Sunday, July 27, 2008
Waste Not, Want Not, and Being a Bit Bi-Party...
Without being specific, let it be said, not that you probably haven't already figured it out from the past 99 posts, but I'm pretty conservative. That in itself would give you a 99% good chance at figuring out which way I vote most of the time. So I don't usually get on bandwagons for causes and saving the environment and that sort of thing. You won't ever find me ringing your doorbell, asking you to sign a petition to save the earth. That being said, I ran across a guy this weekend, actually a guy's blog, in Parade magazine. I'd venture to say he and I cancel each other's votes most of the time, but his thoughts intrigued me. So I skipped over to see what he had to say.

Jonathan Bloom is his name, and he's busy writing a book on how much food we Americans waste. You can read more of what he has to say here, at Wasted Food. It intrigued, encouraged, cheered me, to see this young man care so much about something most of us don't give a thought to. Actually, it maybe just flabbergasted me that a male would spend any bit of time thinking about how much food we Americans waste than the typical young male who is generally all about mass quantities of beef, carbs, fat, etc. At least most of the males I've run into, raised, or had sit around my kitchen table. He pointed out that grocery stores routinely waste a good portion of produce just to stage the rest of it, making it look enticing to you and me, the consumer. And of course the cost of that wasted produce is passed on to us, the consumers who need food to look attractive to be enticed to purchase it. Apparently there's a move underway to encourage grocery stores to put out less produce, let us consumers grow more used to the stripped down version of the market, and thereby waste less.

I find this whole idea fascinating. The grocery store does this, but I'd bet my bottom dollar the guy who actually grew the food, then dragged it to the local Farmer's Market to sell, I bet he didn't pile loads and loads of lettuce under the lettuce, hoping only to sell the lettuce on the top of the pile!

I also read, awhile back, a strange book. Actually I listened to it on audio while driving here and there. It was called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and her husband, Steven Hopp, with a running narrative by their daughter, Camille Kingsolver (you can see their website by clicking on the link above). It was their memoir of a year spent eating only that food they raised, or purchased within 100 miles of their home. They ate strawberries about two months out of the year, maybe a smaller window of time than that even, but I bet the ones they ate were fabulous, and much more appreciated than the ones I'm used to eating whenever I want them.

I even read this past weekend that the main reason our grocery costs are sky-rocketing is that the food we eat, for the most part, has to travel all the way across the country, so we're paying for the cost of the gas. Interesting, interesting.

Living by the creed that nothing is an accident or coincidence, but rather that God's hand is in all that comes at me daily, or at least that it can all be used by Him to change me, and those around me, I find it interesting that I'd read this book, or be interested in what this young man has to say.

Contrary to what your mother may have told you, if you do not clean your plate the kids in China will still go hungry, and here in the United States they will too. But maybe, just maybe by buying less, consuming less, wasting less, each of us can do our part. My part - while it will likely sound a bit strange - for today my part is to take last night's spinach lasagna and turn it into a fine soup. Or stew. Or goulash, or whatever you want to call it. I'm confident I can take the two meager servings that are left and turn them into enough soup for tonight's supper, and lunch for two tomorrow. I can take those somewhat dried up burger buns in the fridge, brush a bit of butter and garlic powder across them, with just a sprinkle of parsley, and make them into a fine get-by version of garlic toast.

Tomorrow I can look in the back of the fridge, the bottom of the vegetable drawer, and the deep freeze and see what's already in there, and cook it, rather than running to the grocery store again, or eating out, or grabbing fast food.

I remember years and years ago seeing an episode of Julia Child's cooking show. She was visiting someone and they gave her the challenge to make dinner out of whatever was in their fridge, and of course she did. She made a fabulous meal with what they had on hand. Maybe, just maybe you and I can too. Even if it's 'once-in-a-lifetime'. That's what I call it when I come up with something that will likely never be created in my kitchen again. Maybe making a bit of 'once-in-a-lifetime' now and then will play just a teensy, tiny part in saving a life. Iron sharpening iron - isn't it wonderful when we can learn from those God places in our path, just by 'coincidence'....


  posted at 12:32 PM

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