Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Abundance & Waste

Went to the local farmers' market the other evening. In one of the regular fruit stands, a woman was cutting up pineapples, a nice service for those of us afraid to cut ourselves in the process. But the waste piled up - some of which could have been eaten.
 It reminded me of the frightening statistics concerning food waste. Every year, in a single country like Canada, millions of tons of food are discarded. Some of it is household refuse - you know, the stuff at the back of the fridge that is starting to move - and the rest comes from restaurants, outdoor venues, etc. etc. The richer the country, the larger the waste of otherwise usable material.
No surprise there. But since so much money could be saved, not to mention the ever-diminishing available area in landfills, you have to wonder how this problem has gotten so out of hand.
Abundance must do something critical to the human brain, more than just causing us to salivate, in the case of fresh food. It causes us to take chances, which we wouldn't dare do in times of scarcity. (Wasteful people in famines get hungrier faster, and probably die sooner.)
I wonder if the sight of multiple items of the same category - such as the squashes below - creates different responses from , say, an all-you-can-eat buffet with a variety of items?

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