I am sure you have seen the statistics which indicate that we discard between 20 and 50% of all food that is produced. Although this is from the UK, the situation is similar in all developed countries.
It is disgusting that so much food is wasted while there are millions of people on this planet who go hungry every day.
When I first read these figures, a couple of years ago, I found it unbelievable. However, since then I have realised that many people have very different ideas to me when it comes to food usage and storage.
I work in a city office of a large global corporation and from time to time there are catered events. I understand the difficulties of predicting quantities when catering for unknown numbers and tastes. However, the fate of the leftover food is disappointing, to say the least.
This week (Tuesday) there was a large tray of untouched green salad – specialty lettuce, red onion, cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrot and corn kernels as well as breads, dips and fruit. This was placed on the bench in the kitchen area and generally announced in the open office. I decided to have a plate of salad with hommus and basil pesto for my lunch and save my packed lunch for another day. There may have been one or two others who had a little salad but there was still a substantial quantity left a few hours later. I did not want to see it spoil so I packed it in the fridge. I put as much as I could into a square plastic container that I had plus I filled this container that was on the bench.
That accounted for about half of the salad so I put the rest in 2 large noodle bowls, covered them and placed them in the fridge.
I brought the 2 plastic containers home which provided enough salad for 4 lunches plus dinner for both of us tonight, alongside our hamburger patties and some fried mushrooms and onions. The salad remaining in the container is enough for my lunch tomorrow – last of the 4 lunches.
I was not in the office yesterday and when I arrived this morning the 2 bowls of salad were untouched but the midday they had disappeared. I cannot be certain but most likely they were discarded into the bin. I am constantly astounded by the lack of interest in using up perfectly good food. I am not suggesting that people gorge themselves on the excess but rather use it for future meals.
On a similar note, I went to a small community gathering yesterday evening and the request was to bring a plate of supper to share. This is what I took.
Does it look meagre? I constantly witness over-catering at events where there is ‘bring a plate’ catering.. If you think about it logically, you should really only contribute the equivalent of what you or your family group would reasonably eat if there was no other food to choose from. If everyone adhered to this principle, rather than bringing huge cakes or platters of sandwiches, there would be minimal wastage and less over-indulging.
What do you think?