A new trend sweeping the Internet shows the problem of our disposable society. I am of course speaking of the now famous “flushing” videos. Flanroan, in the video below, makes a point to waste cereal to show how we are “ex-spiraling” out of control.
These types of food wasting videos on Youtube are very effective in bringing out the angry comments, but it is exactly the kind of shock we need to raise awareness about our growing food waste. In America an average household wastes 40% of their food and on average around 22 pounds of food a month. Much of it from excessive shopping and eating out in restaurants.
Oftentimes a restaurant will put you in that difficult situation serving more food then you can handle in a heaping plate that just won’t end. Probably the worst thing you can do now is overeat.
I remember the time I went visiting Seattle with my friend Dave. In the early afternoon of the first day, we went to a Thai restaurant. It was there I experienced the biggest lunchtime meal of my life. I was sweating trying to chow down as much food as humanly possible.
I was expanding. Not to Monty Python mint wafer sketch levels, but I felt a slight tug on my belt buckle. I had planned on sightseeing with my touristy grin, and now because the potions were so large, I was being asked to take the meal with me. I also didn’t want to smell like garlic on my adventure, but it was already too late for my breath.
The restaurant put me in a wasteful situation by serving me this ridiculously large portion. If only I had an option on size. Why not offer different sizes? If McDonald’s can have a “super-sized” version of their meals, why not offer diminished sizes so customers are not forced to overeat.
Unless the plan is to bring food home, people shouldn’t waste food. Especially in world where one in seven people don’t get fed enough or are lacking proper nutrition.
How effective is this YouTube video? Well, it might be able to undo the bad childhood influences I had from watching Rocket Robin Hood. Unfortunately, that show taught me to relish my gluttony:
You may have been like me, heavily influenced by the Friar Tuck character in Rocket Robin Hood, throwing away all those delicious banquet snacks. One day I tired it. I took a bit out of an apple and threw it away, like it was nothing, right over my head. Damn you, Friar Tuck! Those drumsticks look delicious!
On many occasions I’ve left food behind while my ears ring with my mother saying “finish everything on your plate, young man!” But I think it’s important to be clear about something: while wasting food is a serious environmental problem that needs to be addressed, overeating will only make it worse. Sorry mom.
What we really need to do is change eating habits and make eating out a customizable experience. In the west, most of the average restaurant patrons suffer from having eyes bigger than stomachs.
Think how much money could be saved. Think also, how resources and energy are used to bring that food to your local supermarket, then to your plate. If everyone was able to command their appetite and master the craving for midnight pickle snacks, oh, what a different world we would be.
Since it is a question of how can individuals change, I think videos like Flonran’s “Flushing of the Cereal” expose this problem. Maybe even it will get people to think about our over-consumption and our waste and what we can do to change the eating habits of this predominately industrialized world problem.
For one thing, people need to stop not being embarrassed about everything. Like taking food from a restaurant. Who cares? if you’re not going on a long journey, bring the food home in a doggybag. They even have a service for it, it’s called Take-Out, only you’ve already had a bite. There is nothing shameful in not eating your meal. Stop trying to be so high class! Rich people take food home, why not you?
Do something with your expired food. When your food passes the expiration date, and you know it still good, then eat it or give it away. There are many food banks that are in dire need of items all over North America.
Controlling the amount of food that we intake will eventful shrink our stomachs and this will help us get into good eating habits. Being less demanding of larger quantities of food is preventing the problem from the source, our bottomless pit of a stomach.
We must learn to train our brains to eat the correct portion of food. Simple neuroscience you say, but it’s easier said than done. Learning about one’s own body and intake takes years to master, but through having size choices, eventually people would have at least a closer option, rather than waste food.
Imagine with the option of a smaller portion, you could finish the plate and live guilt free!