How many children have heard this admonition at the dinner table? Basically it's sound advice. Kids should be taught early on to be members of "the clean plate club," but at the same time, made aware of the reality that there are people starving all around the world. What gets scraped from a plate after a meal more often than not goes directly into a plastic trash bag and ultimately winds up in the local land fill.
"Some 13 percent of all municipal solid waste consists of food scraps and edible cast-offs from residences and food-service establishments -- restaurants, cafeterias, and the like. That's about 30 million tons a year, or enough food to feed all of Canada during that same period. When all that food decomposes in landfills, one by-product is methane, which has 20 times the global-warming potency of carbon dioxide. Based on Environmental Protection Agency data, rotting food may be responsible for about one-tenth of all anthropogenic methane emissions......According to USDA statistics, in 1995, some 5.4 billion pounds of food were lost at the retail level, while 91 billion pounds were lost in America's kitchens, restaurants, and institutional cafeterias. In other words, food-service and consumer loss make up 95 percent of all food waste, which means most of the responsibility falls on those who prepare the food we eat, whether it's a homemade meal, a dinner at a sit-down restaurant"
February 28, 2010 by Laura Wright
From a 2007 CNN report (Oliver 07):
"If 5% of America's food scraps were recovered, this would represent one day of food for four million people"
In many communities recycling is encouraged, In some it is mandatory. Uneaten food that cannot be recovered for human consumption should be composted.
If your eyes are bigger than your belly and you can't finish what's on your plate, give the scraps back to the earth! Compost whenever possible.
Let's all say grace now.
Thanks for reading