Making A Grocery List Before We Go Shopping Reduces Food Waste

jsanswPublished: March 7, 20181,947 views
Published: March 7, 2018

Today's household wastes 50% more food than we did in the 1970s? Guilty (raises hand)! Believe it or not, even low income first world families probably eat better than Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. As prepared food becomes more accessible, but the distance between the table and the food producer, i.e., the farmer, grows greater, we have become less efficient eaters.

Waste is for the birds. Literally! Look at those birds! Flocks of seagulls sponge off of our food waste, and no longer hunt for their food. They don't even bother living at the beach any more, as more and more of them have taken up residence at the local landfill. Even the noble bald eagle seems less stately groveling for free handouts. It's bad enough if that birds on welfare are a symbol of everything degenerate in society, but is this the kind of world we want? It's not the birds' fault; it's ours.

Egads, $2,275 in wasted food every year? I don't know about you, but that seems like a lot of money to me. It's like we are two different people: the good guy who buys fresh produce—which is not cheap these days, and the bad guy who orders pizza once we get home, because making one involves work we don't have time for any more. Of course, the lettuce and tomatoes go bad sitting there as we finish off the pizza (except for those last couple of pieces). The downside of living in such relative affluence is that we buy more food than we can use. Maybe we are learning all wrong, not that massive amounts of advertising have anything to do with it...*smirk*

The video suggests making a grocery list before we go shopping, which lends credibility to the notion that we are victims of impulse shopping. Is it the way grocery stores are cleverly laid out, with the most frivolous merchandise front and center? You can't blame the grocery store, they want us to buy and buy and buy and never stop buying. Have you ever been accosted by a grocery store clerk stepping in front of your grocery cart and telling you, like a conscientious bar tender, “You've had enough!”? No, that never happens.

Consider this, that our population is rising. We are competing with more people for a dwindling food supply. More of us are moving to urban regions, where we can't really be expected to grow our own gardens, much less our meat. You would have to be living in a cave to notice the cost of all kinds of meat is going through the roof, and many kinds of fish that we took for granted in the 1970s, like North Atlantic cod, are simply no longer on the shelves.

Big changes are coming in the way society acquires and consumes food. Think positive, because we still produce more food than we can actually use. There will be plenty for everybody. It must be true, otherwise those seagulls and eagles wouldn't be getting fat at our expense. Rather than get all sentimental about our paleolithic past, when we could kill a woolly mammoth and let thousands of pounds of meat go to waste, let's start to look at things a different way. Chickens will still be around years from now. We don't have to hoard them every time there is the hint of a threat of price increases.

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