I have been shamed today. By a photograph. Or rather a large number of photographs.
Whilst looking through google images as is my norm for illustrations for my posts, I came across pages and pages of them. And felt dreadful.
We have all heard the expression “Eyes bigger than your Belly”.
How about throwing in gluttony and greediness, and waste?
Hubby and I both have healthy appetites.
We eat well, and have a variety of foods, but our basics are rice, pasta, tomatoes, onions, cheese, meat, eggs, bread, and veg.
We grow tomatoes, onions, green beans, rhubarb, potatoes, and have apple, elderberry and plum trees in the garden.
We are also on a limited budget.
I am very shrewd when I shop, and rather than go by the weight of pre-packed meat, I calculate the number of dinners I can get.
Our supermarket sells some meat on a 3 for £10 basis. Choice is usually quite limited to chops, chicken breasts, bacon, with perhaps gammon, minced beef, and a tray of sausages if supplies are plentiful (read can’t sell otherwise) . We usually buy a tray of 6 chops and 2 or 3 chicken breasts (you used to get 4 to a tray, but now it is only 3, sometimes only 2 depending on water content) .
So for my £10, I am actually getting 12 dinners. Not 6 each, but 12 ‘meals’.
I make one chop or chicken breast do the two of us one meal. If I buy a tray of minced beef, it will be divided into 4 and frozen down. One pack will make a meal for us, but if I make chilli, that one portion will do us 2 days.
Whenever we have gone out for a meal with mother in law, she always loads her plate, but doesn’t eat half of it. I hate waste, and only cook what we intend to eat in one sitting.
There is no waste in our house, and even at times like Christmas when there are left overs, they will be used to make a meal.
But going back to my post.
My search for illustrations was “food dumpster”.
What I got were hundreds of images showing people foraging for food in huge rubbish bins.
These images hit me in the gut like a hammer.
These were not amusing little anecdotes for my piece of prose.
These were starving people with no other option open to them.
In the film The Day After Tomorrow, the ‘dog owner who lived on the streets’ said about raiding the dumpsters for food. Restaurants will throw away the contents from plates returned to their kitchens, and from what mother in law always left, there would be some good, if dirty, pickings.
There have been numerous reports in the media about the amount of food that is wasted. Whether it is because it is overpriced to start with and doesn’t sell ‘within date’ or down to the consumer buying and cooking more than they need, piling their plates, leaving it and then throwing it away.
The need for Food Banks springing up in our main towns is because people do not have enough money to buy the basics for their families. Budgets are being squeezed with rising prices in utility bills and living expenses, and in many instances, the only thing left to cut back on is food, or finding an alternative source, however unsavoury the thought.
Today is Ash Wednesday.
The First Day of Lent (March 5th to April 19th) .
Forty odd days of religious fasting.
Going without food.
Three weeks without food and you may well die.
Lent this year is twice that long.
For some, they may never see Easter, and it’s nothing to do with Faith.