Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Big Waste Part 1

I watched a show on Food Network today that was called The Big Waste. I could not believe that the four chefs on there were so surprised over all the food that gets thrown away each day here in America. What have they been doing? Hiding their heads in the sand?? Have they never even stop think about the food that gets thrown in the trash ever time they record a new show? What about the food that gets thrown away in their restaurants every day of the week? Do you ever see them using bruised veggies and fruits or sub standard cuts of meat on their shows? I know I never have. I only see them using the best cuts of meat, the prettiest fruits and veggies. Oh but wait. They have to make sure their food looks perfect so that they can sell their shows, books and merchandise. Who is going to buy inferior foods cooked in fancy expensive dishes?

Have you ever noticed that most of tv chefs have a garbage bowl sitting close on the counter and as they are doing all their chopping they are throwing way parts of food that could be used and not wasted? How many of them ever talk about saving those discards from one meal to make a nice rich veggie broth to use in another meal? When they debone meat how many times do you see them take the bones and roast them to make a nice broth? Not often do you? It would be great if they actually put their money where their mouths are and talk about not wasting food when they are recording their shows. They could go a long way in cutting food waste in America just by showing inexperienced cooks what to do with the leftover by products of the foods they use in their shows.

While I commend them for trying to wake up America to the tons of food that get wasted in this country  every year, this one show is not going to make a real big difference in the amount of waste. If they want to make a big difference then talk about it on their shows. Do public service adds about it. Try to set up programs to help get the food to those who could really use it. There are children and adults going to sleep every night in this country because they don't have money for food. The food that is going to waste good help end their hunger.

And then look at all the food we are shipping overseas to other countries where the people are starving. If the American government would set up a program to gleam the food that thrown into compost piles of farms and those imperfect cut of meat, poultry and seafood by products look at all the food that could be processed and sent to help the starving countries.

A by product of setting up a program like that would be the generation of thousands of jobs for the people right here in America. From farmers workers, to food processing people to health inspectors to packaging and shipping. Wouldn't it be great to see more people getting the food they need so badly and jobs to go with that food?

Of course in this sue happy country things would have to be set up so the food could be gleaned. Years ago farmers would let people glean then fields after the harvest. But most have stopped doing that because people were trying to sue them over the least little thing. They figured just because a farmer might have a couple of hundred acres of land to grow food on then they must be rolling in money. They never stop to think of all the expense that goes in to owning a producing farm.

Then of course there is the government who intervenes and pays farmers not to grow food so they can keep prices up and demand high. I could go on and on about the government but I am not going to. Enough said about them.

As for the food waste in America the American people have been conditioned to waste food. From restaurants who pile plates high to charge higher prices and in the process forcing people to over eat because they do not want to waste food. Tempting people to eat more because they think those over priced over filled plates are regular normal serving sizes. They tempt us not only with serving sizes but also appearance in the ads they use. Have you ever noticed that when you go to a restaurant that the food never looks quite as good as it does in the ads or the pictures on the menus?

Fast food places are the worse. They teach our kids that they must get a new toy with every meal they eat out. They tempt people into eating way more then they should by making super size meals and adding more salt and empty calories to those meals. Some of those meals have almost a whole days worth of calories that an average person needs each day in a single meal. Then they have all these ads with foods that have been doctored to look better than what they really are to brain wash people into believing that they must have that meal and children into believing that they can't be happy with out the toy.

Yes, we Americans need to wake up to the food waste in our country but so does the government and those who are in the food industry. The government needs to come up with programs to save the food that is wasted in the fields each and every year besides paying farmers not to grow food. The restaurants need to find away to save the food waste and donate it to food pantries, soup kitchens and so on. An the American people need to rethink how they buy, prepare and store the food they buy.

So far I have talked a little on this blog about how I reduce food waste in my own home. The next time I post I will talk about some more ways I cut food waste in my own home.

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