I’ve been going around different websites to discover other methods of reducing food waste. Many of the ideas are good, but quite often I run into things I doubt the writer has actually tried. Every time I see a recipe for potato peels and apple cores, I shake my head because that isn’t food; that’s garbage.
It occurred to me that I should be specific on this blog about what I feel comfortable throwing away versus what I do not. Here’s the standard that I follow, and it goes back to when I was inspired to start this blog:
Studies show that the average American family wastes enough food to feed an additional family member. As soon as I heard that, I unintentionally imagined the fifth member of my family who could have survived on the food I was throwing away.
In my mind, he is a small child from Africa – I call him my African Ghost Baby. Every time I chucked rotting food in the garbage, my Ghost Baby would be there, frowning at me.
After years of feeling guilty and ashamed while my African Ghost Baby watched me, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I would no longer throw away things that my imaginary family member would have eaten.
So that’s my standard: if a hungry child would eat it, I don’t throw it away. I feel fine taking the onions and pickles off my hamburger, but I do not feel fine wasting a quarter of the hamburger. If I let food go bad that a hungry child would have eaten, I have been irresponsible with my resources.
What inspires you not to waste food?