Have you ever stopped to consider how much edible food gets thrown out in our country?
I haven’t done any actual research (you are welcome to and let me know your findings), but I have worked in the food industry and volunteered with organizations that serve food. I can tell you, there is plenty of good food that goes into the trash. I suppose that is why you hear about people with no food going into trash cans to retrieve food.
I’ve actually been told, by food establishments, that they are required to throw perfectly good unused food away at the end of the evening. It’s a liability issue. If they gave the food to someone, and they claimed they got sick from the food, they could sue the food establishment.
I’ve also been told many shelters and food banks can’t accept unwrapped food, freshly made, etc. for a similar reason. It may not be safe. They can only accept commercially packaged food. I can understand it, but it sure seems a shame that all this unused food can’t be directly given to those who are in need.
I mean, if people are so desperate for food that they are willing to pick it out of a dumpster, risking who knows what kind of diseases, wouldn’t they be okay with leftover food from a restaurant or organization that serves food. I think so!
We can even take the shamefulness of wastefulness beyond the topic of food. For instance…
• Exercise equipment
We seem to be a country that wants the latest, greatest, whatever. I had a printer that was working just fine, still very functional. One day it just stopped working. The message I received was “This device has reached the end of its useful life.” I would submit that it had not. Earlier that day it was producing quality print outs, why had it all of a sudden reached the end of its useful life? Perhaps because the company thought it would be about time to purchase a new one?
If you are finished with something, and it is still useful, wouldn’t it be a good idea to see if someone else might benefit from it? You can try to sell it, at a reduced price, or just donate it. Believe it or not, it feels good to bless others who will appreciate (or even need) what you are about to discard. At least consider a different alternative to throwing away useful things.
*Pam Horton is a Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach, in the Raleigh area.*