Food is one of the most versatile products out there. Not only is food essential to foster life, but we also celebrate life and all the happiness and joys it brings, with food.
We go on:
- birthday lunches and dinners
- graduation dinners,
- celebrations for a new job/promotion or even getting into uni
Food brings happiness into our otherwise bland lives, and we often find ourselves over indulging. At times, we feast a little too much, even when we particularly don’t want to eat.
Now I know what you’re thinking – how can you continue to feast on something even if you don’t want to eat it? Surprisingly, it has been shown that when food is available, we will eat 30% more – even if we don’t like the taste. That’s a lot of food, especially if you think about doing this every time food is in front of you. Think about it, you go to the movies and buy some popcorn, but the popcorn is stale and honestly doesn’t taste very nice. Despite this, you find yourself reaching for the popcorn because it’s in front of you and by the end of it, the box is empty, despite you not liking the taste at all, you ate it all! We humans are weird creatures.
Last week I went to a friend’s 21st where, like most parties, there was an abundance of food. Because all the food was laid out, beckoning me to plate it up, I did. And I overate. If I am being honest, I was eating with my eyes. The food looked good, so I thought I would be able to eat it, and you know what happened? I didn’t. I wasted it. Although I tried to eat as much as I could to stop myself from wasting food, I simply couldn’t. Although it looked like I only wasted a little bit of food, the majority of the people that attended the party also wasted a little bit of their food. Together, all of the wasted food, could feed a number of people.
By this point, you’re all probably bored to death hearing about how we shouldn’t waste food and how children in third world countries are starving, but I want to talk about an issue closer to home. We waste food. We waste so much food every single day. We waste enough food globally to eradicate hunger and poverty. We are all so privileged, with access to food and water, the ability to eat things we want, and to go to bed with food in our bellies. And at times, we abuse this luxury. We buy food that we can’t finish, or worse, we throw it out if we don’t like the taste. There are hundreds of people in Sydney, out in the cold, hungry and waiting for a few dollars to be tossed into their hats so they can get some food. Just take a look to your right when lining up for the 891 buses at Central.
As educated students and future leaders, we need to be mindful of our actions. Our actions today will determine the effects of tomorrow. Be mindful, be wise with your consumption. Order small portions, if you’re still hungry, order some more. Don’t keep plating up because it looks good.
If you are struggling, or know anyone struggling with purchasing food, OzHarvest can help. This amazing organisation provides you with fresh food, packaged meals, dry foods and pretty much everything you get at the supermarket, for a donation or for free (if you’re really struggling). All of the food is donated and they promote feeding bellies not bins.