Unnecessarily Trashing Food Think Again

Millions of food wastes get thrown out every day. Is all of it necessary? Do you feel that it is necessary? Try to think twice before answering this seemingly simple question. The reason is, to my own perspective, it is completely useless for these billions of food wastes to get thrown out. You might think, “Yeah, so what… Doesn’t everyone?” I would take that as a fight that I am willing to defend against. Throughout my entire life, I learned how to persevere the will to finish off everything in a food plate. Drastic experiences not only changed my views on food but also the epitome of living life efficiently and effectively.

Waking up from my sleep, the world seemed like a dark place. The dark, cloudy rain signified a need for a change. Anxiety yet isolation came upon; the atmospheric “tone” symbolized an importance of the need to change an individual’s habits. As my sisters and I left my house, my parents were discussing the conflict that great amounts of food wastage occur in everyday society and that it tends to get quite annoying. Eating breakfast in Starbucks, I was throwing out a half-eaten banana peel in the garbage. When I returned to the table, my parents stared at me furiously. She affirmed, “What do you think, ehh, food comes from the air and can be just thrown out?” I thought about the ideas that my parents sought to instill in me. In my surroundings, there were half-eaten banana peels being thrown out. I replied with a depressing tone, “Well, no… I don’t think, but I just couldn’t finish it!” Glaring at me, my parents thundered, “Are you crazy? Do you know what you are saying or even doing? Food comes from hard labor, resources, and, most of all, money!!! If you waste these much leftovers everyday, then what will happen to the other five billion hungry people around the world looking for food or to the economy itself?” I stared down and stayed silent throughout the day thinking about this idea a bit more. My sisters stared at me and tried to enforce on me the fact that I shouldn’t be like one of those types of people. The persuasive yet menacing like tone implied to me that a lifestyle change was needed—not just for me but for the entire world.

At the end of that day, my sister came to my room in order to discuss with me about this “food” situation. She introduced her talk: “You know, food has always been a problem for us. You were very really little that time, so you weren’t aware of this fact. We lived through very little money because when our cousins/family came to America, they went through various financial distresses just to actually gain enough support for us! We wouldn’t have enough to get even dishes for food and always had to split money with everyone (i.e. our cousins/family) to attain outside food. We learned the value, importance of food from those experiences! Sooner or later, food came more readily available for us as mommy got a new job/transferred to a new one that is more beneficial due to its city benefits. Also, one another lesson that should already be explicit to you already, that we learned is food just doesn’t come from the sky and everything has to be paid with money including the harvest of food and/or import of food from one place to another (such as the groceries). Hence, you should really think about this matter not just from what I said but also think about our family’s point of from it!!! My body shivered from the chills as if I just found out my entire family’s financial truth in ten minutes of time.

Years passed on. I became more and more cautious due to the fact that my sisters would always watch me to see if I really did change my bad habits from when I was young. It was difficult for me to continue on this “path of variation.” However, my family’s sleepover became a crucial point for this path. My cousins were almost as meticulous as my sisters in the food wastage issue. Hence, one of them suggested watching a documentary on the importance of food as a night movie sleepover activity. As I was watching it, I realized on the essence of fresh food and how it is very limited recently. When the documentary came to a close, I thought about the issue more deeply and discussed with my cousins about other ideas during the sleepover. Finally, the next day, it came to my senses that there is no foolishness needed anymore and everyone was trying to convey an essential fact.

Retaining those impactful views in mind, I went to a friend’s party that happened a couple of months later of the sleepover. Enjoying the various recreational activities, we decided to eat out for a little bit. While we were eating, I was obviously the one trying to finish everything on the plate instead of throwing any food bits out. My friend stared at me thinking I was crazy trying to completely finish a plate of food. Trying to stay calm, I told everyone, “Guys, you do know that food wastage is one of the biggest international problems and you should try not to do the same thing.” Everyone stared silently and my friends replied, calmly: “Okay, even though there is a major food problem, why are you being so picky/so conscious of finishing your food? Who cares…about these negligible little food bits? I replied,” Man, you have no idea on this reality of the food wastage situation. Millions of food bits are getting thrown out every day just because we don’t want to/can’t finish them. Those bits altogether can help a hungry person live longer. You don’t care about that?” The party ended off with that conversation in their minds. When I came home from the party, I decided to peruse through the computer and saw a TED talk speaker that effectively proclaimed his views in a nice, consolidated video. The video conveyed that in the long run, there are going to be people who can eventually change the lifestyles of everyone in the world.

A very inspirational speaker in TED, Tristram Stuart was able to discuss the reality of global food wastes that we do in everyday lives. The main idea that the film wanted to convey was that western countries/third-world countries waste nearly half of their food in a year. Tristram Stuart discusses this idea in London Spring 2012 and expresses some shocking facts about wastage of resources like: bread, rice, and other food items. He also exemplifies, through various pictures/graphs that large quantities of food are produced and that is unnecessary for one main reason. The “incorrect” cosmetically type foods go into trash. These food bits would then get thrown out billions each year and those “wastes” are actually perfectly fine. However, supermarkets refuse to place them on food just because the size is unfit and/or “improper looking” for them!

Stuart’s realistic aspects of actually saving these food bits and feeding them to everyone in the world present a very legitimate point. His pervasive quotes such as, “It gave me faith that we, the people, do have the power to stop this tragic waste of resources…” and detailed statistical data of the food wastes produced internationally conveyed a sense of plausibility in his claims. This not only brought a smile to my face but also when I finished watching it, a change of beat occurred. His presentation was definitely one of the most influential talks that I have encountered in my life because it depicted a worldwide problem that must be solved in a very organized way. As the population grows, hunger will be a situation that will affect all of us. His talk exemplified not only this idea but also the fact that the prevention of international food waste is able to save the people, the livestock, and helps reduce the CO2 production. Hence, this talk shows how a detailed way of saving food can benefit globally.

Exemplified by one staggering piece of evidence, Tristram demonstrates that: A country like America has four times the amount of food that it needs. Hence, this talk presents a great way for people to know how much food they actually waste everyday as well as the big organizations that uselessly throw the food out.
However, just when I thought that everything was going smoothly, a dark side of conscious came upon me. The gloom subconscious made me think of an important factor that could hinder all these lifestyle changes: resistance. People would obviously attempt to deny that food wastes is not even a new problem any more and that it has always been prevalent through lifetime. Exemplified by one of the TED talk commenters (Jon S.), “I’m shocked that this is new news. Greens and vegetarians have been talking about this for years…” Another variation of a resistance can include the fact that Tristram’s evidence can be too extreme and not very effective in the argumentation. As Paul Ahearn commented of the talk, “3 of the 9 biscuits going to livestock cannot be fairly called waste. This market driven preference of improved nutrition is a reasonable desire of millions (or billions of people) who are able to afford enhanced quality food.” Though such resistance exists, it can be regulated with the evidence conveyed from Tristram himself and certain food activist groups (i.e. Imperial College Environmental Society (Environmental Society’s Blog), Tristram’s Gleaning Network UK project (TED talk), and others). One such example includes when Tristram Stuart showed a picture of a bunch of bread crusts being thrown out just because it doesn’t go well with the bread. Persuaded by such evidence can lower many of the dejections and open the future to a better world.

Numerous other reasons would make a person change his/her mind about food. There are masses of food supply that get wasted everyday incessantly. This video portrays its reality and the main solution to this conflict. Eventually, when you understand the main conflict, it presents a solution that may help in the near future to obtain surplus of food to us. Even as one peer, Sudip Choudhury, commented, “I was very happy to see this Talk as I have been observing this phenomenon from a distance though whenever I travelled. “ Even if this view may seem very clichéd, here is another critique made by Andy A. about the talk, “Just imagine how cool the world would be, if we could promise that EVERY human being had access to clean food, water, shelter, and medicine. This was one of my favorite talk. As the speaker was exposing these problems, he was showing a great side of humanity that implies a potential to solve these problems.” Based on these people’s strong points and how the video actually persuaded them to stop this repetitive food wastage, anyone who sincerely cares about the people or who would like to make a difference in the world would do the same.

Here are some additional topics to think about if you’re still ambiguous about this scandal: What would you do if you see a ton fresh supply of bread thrown out everyday or the supply was good/but too small for the stores’ specifications? I know from my perspective that I would not want to waste any more food and save it as much as possible. Thinking about the billions of hungry people, food corporations/companies should think twice about the next tray of potatoes they throw out.

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