Since the dawn of time, or maybe just the dawn of America, I feel like mothers and fathers across the country have always said, “Finish your dinner, there are children starving in fill in a third world country.” I have no doubt that there are children, adults, and animals starving all over the world, but I have never understood how finishing our dinner, makes those unfortunate folks any less hungry. I am not a food person, so this could be an area where I have no expertise, but here is my opinion. If I don’t finish the food on my plate, it is probably because I have no more room in my stomach to put it. So now that I have food left on my plate and nowhere to put it, how can I help these starving souls?
Obviously I should package up the remainders and send them to Ethiopia. My half-eaten chicken breast will be greatly appreciated by those who are less fortunate than I, at least if it survives the travel and is still edible. I think the bigger dilemma here, and I do mean bigger, is that in America there is no such thing as moderation. I don’t travel too much, so I can’t vouch for other countries, but I seem to get this is the general consensus on the good old U.S of A. Instead of parents telling their children to finish the food on the plate, maybe they should start by putting less food on the plate. If we consumed/wasted less food here, wouldn’t that leave surplus for others and maybe lower costs since the demand is not so high? Once again, in the department of business and economics I know nothing, but this just happens to be a common sense answer to me. Since we can’t seem to make this work, here is an alternative solution that a college roommate helped me figure out.
This roommate tended to have lots left on her plate, maybe her parents never learned that old standby command. Every day we would return home to food, not just scraps, but whole pieces that were put down our sink drain. After months of frustration, my other roommates and I came to the conclusion that maybe her parents did tell her not to waste and that at her house their drain must have led right to Ethiopia! She must have just assumed the same was true of our drain. While she was trying to make a valiant contribution to one of the world’s major problems, she was just causing our drain to constantly back up and leave a terrible mess for us. How could we fault her for being such a humanitarian?
This does get one thinking though. What if a pipeline could be constructed that sent all unwanted food to those in greater need? Now I wouldn’t really want someone’s leftovers, but when you have nothing, that can seem like a 5 star dinner. Better yet, maybe we could all just start thinking about how other people live on this planet with us and maybe that third Big Mac© isn’t quite as necessary to our survival as we thought.