Skip to main content

A Paradox, A Paradox, A Most Perplexing Paradox!


This morning, while I was loading the dishwasher I came upon a paradox.


Too much food.

I kept thinking of my mom… “eat all of that oatmeal. You know there are starving kids in Africa.”

Scraping plates into the garbage disposal was a bit depressing. Truly, we could have fed a small family with the “leftovers” on plates and in bowls that we had taken for granted.

As a whole, we waste far too much of what the world's farmers and fishermen produce… too much of the bounty God has blessed us with. As Tristam Stuart documents in his book Waste, we needlessly throw away carrots, corn, and cod fish, hastening environmental degradation, climate change, and even hunger. There's probably enough wasted food in the United States and Europe to feed all of sub-Sahara Africa.

Then I took a look at the trash can. What I saw surprised me. I thought I was composting. I could do so much better! Have you looked in your trash can lately? I mean – really looked. Is your household mine? Are you throwing out a lot of food.

It came to me… This is money down the drain – or out on the curb. With the price of food going up and with people going to bed hungry across the globe, it’s a real shame to throw out food.

As a kids I remember working hard to preserve the fruits and veggies my mom found for the family. We tried our hand at gardening… not the easiest thing to do on the Oregon high deserts. We raised chicken for several years in a row. I remember my mom killing them, dipping them in boiling water and handing the chicken off to us kids to pluck before we stuffed them in plastic bags and into the freezer. Once we raised a pig or two and put that in the freezer. At any rate, my parents worked hard to feed our large family and food was rarely wasted. With all the work involved, nothing was taken for granted, and even the “spare parts” that would gross out generations today were treasured, lovingly prepared, and served. (cant’s say I’m dying for liver or tongue or heart any time soon, but you get the point).

Today, it’s much easier to drop by the store and get convenience foods which are over packaged. It seems no one knows how to cook a pot of beans, since they apparently grow in cans now. I even heard of an “informed” reader of a California newspaper reader who felt the need to scold hunters for killing animals for food… “Why don’t you go to the store to get your meat where they make it and no animals were harmed for us to eat!” (I must admit I’m still laughing over that one).

Many families scorn leftovers. They are so “yesterday.” Add on the impulse purchases which look tempting but often go begging, and our landfills become a huge compost pile.

So… just how am I going to cut down on waste?

1) Everyone probably knows that it’s a good idea to plan ahead, make lists, and avoid the temptations of buying a few extra things that really are not needed. Even if I have a good coupon or it’s on sale, it seems like a good idea, but oftentimes, it’s not. It goes wasted. So, If I have doubts, I should probably move along. Basically…. STICK TO THE LIST.

2) When I cook in bulk, freeze small portions for a variety of dishes.

3) I tend to overestimate how much food we’ll need at any given meal. We simply do not need as much food on the table. Of course, I don’t want anyone to go hungry, but I’ve found that it makes sense to ask family members about amounts to cook. There are some days when my high school son might eat one hamburger, but other days when he’s burned more calories and may need two burgers. He generally has an idea of what it will take to fill him up.

4) Leftovers – They Can Be MY Friend. Even when I’m careful, I often end up with food left over at the end of a meal or day. While it may seem easier to toss out the odds and ends, it makes sense in so many ways to build on the excess.

5) Rather than buying expensive premade dinners for emergency nights, make my meals ahead of time and freeze in appropriate amounts.

The paradox… too much food, yet people starving and malnourished everywhere.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book of Mormon Study... Title page and testimony of the witnesses

According to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “the title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation” (History of the Church, 1:71).


That means it’s scripture too! That is why today I start my Book of Mormon study with the title page.

I am part of the House of Israel. My children and their children are a part of the House of Israel. This Book is written for me and for them.

I love that the Title page declares that this book is a “gift”… now this book I am marking will become a “gift” for my grandson. How cool is that? I feel like Nephi, writing my testimony of Jesus Christ and of the gospel plan as I study God’s word so …

An Open Letter to Those Who Hate The School Dress Code

I have noticed a ton of resistance to dress codes in schools.  I have something to say... get over it.  
A dress code is not about body shaming.  It is not about control.  It's not about taking away individuality. The dress code is not about making social divisions.  It is not about taking away individual rights.
A dress code is about keeping a professional environment where real work happens.  Contrary to popular belief, woman don't get to wear whatever they want when ever they want in "the real world." Every profession has some kind of dress code.  Nurses, doctors, real estate brokers, vets, and even McDonald's workers have a dress code.  Even farmers and day labors wear clothing appropriate to the work they do.  School is a professional environment where the student's "job" is to be the student - to learn - and the teachers' job is to open the possibilities in young minds and to create an environment where people - all people - can learn.  Th…

Once-a-Slightly Over Month Cooking

Today may be the last day of the year, but it was the first day of the month around the Boyack house.  Today was Once-a-Month-Cooking day.  The funny thing is that it usually ends up lasting longer than a month.  Our last big cooking day lasted from September to now.  The thing is, I don't always pull from the freezer.  Weekend we cook from scratch.  However, with my voice lessons in late afternoons and sometimes play practice or performance I am too tired to think about dinner.  Making dinner ahead saved me so much money from September to Christmas that I was able to pay for half of Christmas from the savings from the food budget.  Plus, we had much healthier meals!

After collecting which recipes we wanted to make, and making a shopping list, John headed to the store around noon.  We started the cooking and assembly around 1:00 and ended all the cooking by 7:00.  In that time we made 35 dinners.  We have the fix-in's in the cupboard to make 15 more quick and easy meals.  We …