This I Believe

Vinay - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 29, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in wasting food.

As a child growing up in India, I was always under pressure to finish my food. My grandmother said, “There are millions of children like you starving to death and you want to waste this? Clean up your plate.” Having lived in the US for the last five years I realized that the argument was a universal one and was used by parents here as well. It wasn’t clear to me why finishing the food on my plate was going to help starving children in Somalia, or India for that matter, but I did develop a disinterest for food which lasted until my marriage.

The inherent contradictions in the concept of not wasting food in this day and age were put in perspective by an older physician I worked with here. He said; “You’ve got a plate of food in front of you. You’ve eaten as much as you need to. Now there are two ways of wasting what is left. One way is to throw it in the garbage. The other is to eat it. Which is better?” The answer is clear as a bell.

If you are reading or listening to this then I can say with absolute confidence that you probably belong to one of the following categories:

1. You are overweight and would like to lose some weight but have not been able to summon the willpower to do it on a consistent basis.

2. With considerable effort you stay in shape using a combination of diet and excercise.

3. You have an eating disorder.

4. You are one of those metabolically gifted individuals who seem to be able to eat as much as they want without getting out of shape.

The chances of your being a person who cannot afford enough food to avoid going hungry are negligible.

Except for the fourth category, it makes sense to waste some of your food and drink. It would be nice to able to take, on our plates exactly the amount of food we should eat but that being unrealistic, particularly if you eat out with any frequency, it makes sense to waste some of your food and some of your drink, particularly if you are among those unfortunate individuals who feel the need to drink colored sweet liquids instead of water with meals.

Waste some of your food and drink and you will be a healthier person.

This I believe.