TIL: It is OK to Waste Food

"You need to finish your food. Think of all the poor, hungry children in China/Mushin/any poor place your parents can think of"

I know I'm not the only one who heard this refrain while I was growing up as a picky eater. I did not believe for a minute that my food habits had any impact on the state of world hunger but the concept of not wasting food has stuck with me even at my own detriment.

  • It's the reason why if I can't finish my food in a restaurant, I order a to-go box knowing fully well that I will not eat those leftovers
  • It's the reason why I'll force myself to eat fries I didn't want but ordered anyway because the combo pricing seemed like the smarter option
  • It's the reason why I finish my kids' leftovers including this bag of popcorn I had no business touching
AH, what's the popcorn story you ask? Yesterday evening, after doing a good job of polishing off her pounded yam and ogbono dinner, my daughter requested for popcorn. And I obliged because... Anyway, she barely made a dint in the bag before heading off to bed. I was left with an almost full bag of popcorn and a load of childhood guilt to deal with. After 2 hours of trying to ignore the bag of popcorn, I ate it all up for the future of mankind. Mankind and the earth needed me to eat it up right?! 
Yes? 
No? 
Not really?

So, my health and well-being would have been better served if I had thrown that 45 cents worth of popcorn in the garbage but I didn't choose my health. I chose "non-wastage" over my health. I think the sacrifice is all wrong and backwards. I should totally chuck that bag in the garbage and spare myself the trans-fat and empty carbs. 

It takes some reorientation of the mind to accept that some form of waste is ok. 

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