Eating bad food because that’s all you have

Animal Farm Ideas
Animal Farm Ideas
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It breaks your heart when you listen to others share that in the past they had to eat bad food because that’s all they had.

I have had to hear this too frequently, unfortunately. Even once shouldn’t happen, but with food insecurity worldwide it is a common experience. I first experienced hearing this as a kid. I had a classmate tell me that sometimes his family didn’t have enough food and they had to eat bad/expired food. I asked him if it would help if I made an extra lunch for him but we discovered that by volunteering to help in the kitchen he would have his lunches paid for since he was under the poverty guidelines. This is how I started working in the school kitchen too. It was to show my friend there was no shame in working as a kitchen helper. He felt the other kids would look down on him. He was right. My classmates asked me why I was doing that and I told them it was fun and they looked down on me because of it. I didn’t mind, however, because I got extra food.

Then as I grew up my family would sometimes give food to hungry families, and I would help the church food donation program. They got food donations from the local government so I would load up the food and take it to another city where people didn’t have transportation to go to the city that I lived in. I probably didn’t help many people, but I did what I could to help others.

A few months ago I was surprised to hear someone rich in their home country tell me that sometimes they had to eat bad food. I couldn’t understand this. They explained that it doesn’t matter how well off you are, when food is limited you have to eat what is available. How can this be? How can anyone in the world not have enough food to eat when we waste so much food every year?

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As I have worked in companies, I have noticed a trend. Almost every time that I have brought food as a gesture of teamwork, it has never gone to waste. I will say to my coworker well the food has been out for an hour so I should probably throw it away now. They get an alarming look in their eyes and say something like “No. The food is still good. Let me put it in the fridge to take home tonight.” Then they tell me that food is precious and that it should never be wasted. I agree, but in a work setting, I don’t want to have anyone feel sick and blame me because the food was left out too long.

What has brought this to my attention is that normally the people who are most concerned about food waste are minorities. I asked my Asian friends why Asians seemed to hate food waste and they lectured me that food was precious and should never be wasted. I agree nothing should be wasted, but they take this to mean not even a grain of rice should be wasted. It is a very ecological point of view, and practical as well if your family has experienced hunger in the past.

Our coworkers experience food insecurity. Sharing our food with our coworkers not only builds teamwork but helps people in a real way. Don’t be afraid to be generous.