Adding Food Waste to your Mouth or the Trash

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Where should leftover food from our plates go when we feel full?

•    In our belly
•    In the garbage disposal
•    In the trash
•    In the fridge for tomorrow

Next time you start to say, “Finish the food on your plate”, you may want to think twice. We make this choice every single day, at least 3 times a day but most don’t put much thought into it. 

As children in our younger years and even as parents today some of us practice the speech “If it’s on your plate, you need to eat it.” Food costs money and most of us Americans live on a paycheck to paycheck budget; you don’t waste food. But, what is really the definition of wasting food? Could it be that our parents and grandparents set forth this plague of obesity? Well, that’s likely a small part of it.

Did you know, the more you eat the more your stomach muscles expand? At Thanksgiving we see delicious food fill the counters and tables and yes, we should be able to splurge and fill our tummies beyond our hearts desire. It’s true, that this is only one day out of 365. However, our stomachs will be effected for the next week +, until we reset our “stomach thermostat”[1].

Now, what happens to the leftovers? Many times left overs get thrown away, and this is where we get to argue with people who are sensitive about “waste management”. Statistics prove that we are not only the most obese country[2], but also the most wasteful. “A study by the University of Arizona in 2004 indicated that 14 to 15% of United States edible food is untouched or unopened, amounting to $43 billion worth of discarded, but edible, food.”[3].

The fact is, we are the highest ranked for two negative studies but if we fix one it could gradually fix the other.

So what’s my point?   What is the best option???

If you’re getting full, do whatever you want with the food, wear it on your head, anything besides putting it into your stomach. But why, isn’t that contributing to food waste!? The answer is simple, if the food goes in our bellies it will make it through our intestines, into a toilet and eventually to a sewer, making it no better than the other 3 options. This is all happening while packing on extra fat on our bodies contributing to obesity during every meal we eat. If we are eating less and throwing away excess food into the trash, many families will start cooking smaller meals, but even if our food waste numbers got higher, I would much rather have a healthier, happier country.

Practice this method with yourself and your kids. Next time your kid say, “Mom, I’m full.” you can say, “Ok, I’ll leave it on the table in case you get hungry later.”


Footnotes

  1. ^ WebMD - 9 Surprising Facts About Your Stomach Page 1- http://www.webmd.com/women/features/stomach-problems 3/05/15
  2. ^ US News - America Tops List of 10 Most Obese Countries  http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/05/28/america-tops-list-of-10-most-obese-countries  3/05/15
  3. ^ Wikipedia – Global Extent of Food Waste http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_waste#Extent  3/05/15

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