Not Really the Clean Plate Club

Some people sample food while they prepare it. Raw egg in the mix? No problem, it has never made me sick (yet). A little green on the cheese? Oh, you mean that’s not natural? Just scrape it off and we’re good to go. How long past the expiration date? Not to worry, I think it’s still good. If not, well…

Other folks were raised as part of the clean plate club. Eat your vegetables or no dessert! Eat your whole meal because children like you are starving in India (or Africa or wherever). Eat the rest of that and show us how grown up you are! Whatever food you have on your plate, eat it all and enjoy!

And yet others don’t believe in putting away leftovers. Don’t worry about that little bit of gravy (or cranberry sauce, or scalloped potatoes, or…); I will be happy to take care of it. Oh, there’s another roll left? Wonderful, that will go nicely! The fridge is full, anyway, and I know you want to wash up these serving dishes…

I was raised as part of the clean plate club; what about you? Regardless, it seems that we have a fourth group of people in America. That would be members of the food supply chain, including cooks and servers, and food consumers who simply toss out food that is suspect, expired, or simply excess. Some of the stores and kitchens in my town make it a point to quietly give their excess food to local shelters, but maybe this practice is not as common as we might guess.

The article linked below paints a dismal picture of the amount of food going to waste in America. Not to be a complainer, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could find more effective ways to share our God-given bounty with the hungry in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Yemen, Uganda, or other areas where food supplies are disrupted or missing?

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