“When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat…
Matthew 25:35– The Poverty and Justice Bible
Hunger is a worldwide problem that eats at our hearts and troubles our consciences. While it is our responsibility to “give them something to eat,” there is no simple solution to this complex issue, but there are some things that we as individuals and families can do to increase our understanding of the factors involved and to address those issues.
The first easy step for all of us can be to reduce the amount of food we don’t eat. And, no, that isn’t a typo. All you have to do to get a feel for the amount of food your family wastes is to scrape their plates after dinner to see how much you are feeding that hog under the sink called the garbage disposal. Then monitor what goes into your garbage can for a week or two. According to the NRDC about 40% of our food in America and Canada is wasted.
That raises some good questions. “How can we reduce our food waste?” “How can we teach our children that important lesson?” And, “If we can cut our food bill by 40%, how much money will we save?”
Dinnertime discussions about buying less, serving less and wasting less are a good place to start. Then challenge your children to research the question on the internet and do some of that yourself so they won’t know too much more than you do.
A New York Times article pointed out the fact that “food waste is a glaring measure of inequality. “ One reason why is that we spend a much smaller portion of our income on food in this country. They went on to say that “In poor countries, most of the food waste is on the farm or on its way to market.” Lack of refrigeration and poor packaging/transportation options are major contributors to that type of food loss.
In poor countries, food is too precious to be thrown out by consumers. I learned that firsthand a few years ago on a trip to Africa when I asked our guide if it would be possible for the kitchen to give me smaller meals. “I just can’t eat all the food they put on my plate,” I told him. “Don’t worry about that,” he said. “What you don’t eat will go home to feed someone’s family.”
Although I’ve traveled extensively in poor countries, it never occurred to me that someone else would feed their family by cleaning my plate. It was humbling to think I had missed that part of a problem that was all around me.
How many people would your garbage feed?
What can you do to reduce food waste?
Blessings on your efforts to give them something to eat,