An indecent Habit.
They say that the largest and biggest problem facing the world is the threat of over-population together with lack of food. Yet, this morning I watched a program whereby an eminent professor scientist had all the numbers and statistics at his side proving half the world’s food gets thrown out. That’s right; we chuck out half of our food. Searching for answers, the good professor put the blame squarely on the young, the baby boomers children, even grandchildren. It must be right though.
Most mornings on my walk I am tempted to pick up the throw outs of food. This morning’s takings; a bag clearly identifiable with a Big M and gold arch and a carton of a Domino Pizza box with a half eaten mozzarella ‘family size’ morsel still in its box. The food would have been eaten direct from the bag or box, perhaps while driving, and heaved out when the opportunity arose and the look in the back mirror revealed no one was watching.
After I opened the Big Golden Arch bag, there was a complete bun in it with soft ochre coloured cheese and some green leaves still neatly tucked in between. The owner of this bag must have just taken the beef minced patties out and chucked the rest. The domino pizza was decorated with grey pieces of mushroom, some red coloured stuff, perhaps beet-root or tomato but, apart from one previously mentioned half eaten morsel, no mozzarella. It seems that the meat gets targeted for the gaping mouths and masticating jaws, but the rest abandoned. What wealth, what moral abandonment of food ethics.
I placed the bags and carton in a bin and noticed the bin had lots of pizza pieces with boxes and other throw away food items discarded. The smell predominantly was a mixture of pizza, gravy ladled chips and acidy pungent stale slushy remnants soft drinks looking to slake thirsts. Take away, throw away.
Dear mother, stay where you are. The world has changed since the potato peeling soup you saved for us in your green enameled bucket of the 1945 soup kitchen in Rotterdam! Did that bucket not have a ceramic holder in the middle of the handle, allowing the bucket to swing freely? Since those days, no food was ever wasted by us, scraps always used for compost or for the ducks along river’s edge.
Of course, food thrown out in the public arena might pale in what gets chucked out privately. What I would not give to take a peek inside the kitchen disposal bins of our societal neighbours, friends or foes. It would be too rude to saunter over to your friends’ disposal bins in the kitchen while you and friend have just arrived, but, perhaps after a couple of shiraz’, and as your host goes to the bathroom, go and be brave and opportune and have a quick glance. You might be surprised.
Who knows those kinds of intimate food preparations or dietary secrets about each other? We take for granted certain aspects of our friends, s a, they are not murderers or likely to self-immolate in front of an embassy or airport, nor rife through the pockets of your jacket hanging from the coat-hanger in the hallway.
Yet, when it comes to food, who knows what dastardly deeds are performed and on so many kitchens Caesar-stone bench tops? If half the food gets thrown out, it can’t just be only our kids. Who goes still hungry, surely no one? Put up hands that only slice and use the white bits of the leeks or chives, jettison the rest in the bin? Who throws away stale bread or the odd spouting spud? That’s just penny pinching stuff, what about the Christmas Turkey or half eaten but double smoked 6 kilo ham?
As the plane sliced through the clouds an enormous rubbish tip came into view directly below the passengers. Over that ocean of rubbish crawled an ant like colony of human waves, all looking for scraps of food as the convoy of trucks spewed out their fresh loads onto the hordes of the hungry.
The Boeing captain announced; we will be landing in Bombay shortly; please keep your seat belts on and remain seated. At the airport the air-conditioning was humming while the Coke machine was being reloaded. A pale looking woman was unfolding a pram and her husband lowered a young sleepy child into it and gave the bottle of milk, the luck of the right birth.
A couple of miles away, the rubbish tip was getting busy, being clambered over, scraps of food were being prised out of the steaming morass and eaten on the spot. The things we miss out on while travelling.