We live in a generally wealthy society with, for most, plenty of food.
Indeed, too many choices, flavors, brands. . . . . . .
How many times have you been invited to another's dinner
And, after partaking in a marvellous meal,
The table is cleared and most of the leftovers, sloped down the disposal?
One friend reported she had relatives come to their home to stay awhile,
And they complained (!) about the cooking,
Took over the kitchen, prepared far too much for each meal,
And proceded to attempt to cast the rest down the disposal !
The host at that point, put her foot down--
"We do not throw good food away; we use the leftovers!"
Well, nothing changed and all continued as before,
So, when the guests departed, the friend said to me,
"And now we are eating many leftovers from a very full fridge!"
I also had a similar experience several years ago,
When partaking of dinner with a family of four (with two ten year olds).
I distinctly remember hotdogs, buns and other sundries
Pushed from each 'finished' plate into that gaping hole in the middle of the sink!
200 tons or more per day, much directly off our plates, are discarded
By families, restaurants, and processors in this country.
How can this be occurring so rampantly?
I was made to 'eat three bites' of something not liked at the table;
My children were guided to do the same.
In a school where I taught in Switzerland,
I followed the same practice with great success--
One stubborn eater even declared, after trying his three bites,
"This was great food", and demonstratively gulped it all down.
Do we just have too much, with too many choices
And also along with that, too little discipline,
Allowing our children and then, later adults,
To be continually spoiled as they proceed through all of life's experiences?
As a farmer, among other things, to make all ends meet,
My mindset had been successfully formed by my parents' approach to food and dining.
Wastefulness in one of life's practices may very well lead
To a myriad of other undesirable approaches to life.
Coming from a farmer, ecologist, teacher, parent, and octogenarian,
This might not be such bad advice for the challenges we face in this new 21st century!
Frank Maurer 5 July 2023
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