Recently an article came out that nearly 50% of food waste comes out of the average Canadian household. It translates into $27 BILLION worth of food. We buy too much and it ends up rotting in the fridge. We don’t know what to do with leftovers, so we chuck it out. (And this isn’t in the household, but I get angry when I see people at buffets leave plates full of food at the end of their meal. Or even just leaving unfinished plates at restaurants.) Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and our minds so saturated with the idea that more is better, so we always have much more than we need. And it gets wasted.
“According to 2011 figures from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly one-third of all food is lost or wasted, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons of food per year.”
Meanwhile, about 860 million people in the world are malnourished.
It’s not right. And this is just the food aspect. How about our cosmetics and recreational costs? Or the luxury goods we try to collect in our homes as status symbols? Or even all the little gadgets that are supposed to make this life more convenient?
I’m convinced that this earth can produce enough so that every man, woman and child can have shelter of their heads and enough food & water to drink. That we can all live comfortably…without exploiting the earth…but we must give up living luxuriously.
I’m not saying we should all try to live at poverty lines in order to do this…or that we shouldn’t enjoy the fruits of our labour by treating ourselves now and then. But we need to see that a lot of what we have is LUXURY compared to the majority of the world. We cannot take it for granted and especially not see it as something to be entitled to. If everyone raised their standard of living to the luxuries of North American living, this Good Earth will be reduced to dust. (It’s just not sustainable to grow enough corn to feed enough cattle for everyone on the planet to have steak. Or to mine enough metal to make everyone a new car every two years. Or drill enough oil to fuel everything.) But if everyone who had plenty can share it, then we will ALL have enough. And no one will have to be in want. (We’d also have less of an obesity epidemic in the First World.)
Of course, the human condition as to why we don’t do this is a completely different can of worms. That’s for another post.