Thursday, November 24, 2005

Excess Food for Thought

I came across an interesting article today.

For anyone's who has eaten out with me, they know that I hate wasting food. I used to work at a hockey arena where I worked in the box suites, and I worked in a restaurant in the summer. It is so disgusting the amount of untouched food that is thrown out, seriously. This crime is usually caused by both the kitchen and the consumer. Shame on all of you!

Now, I don't want to get into the "kids in Africa" speech, but really. I think us North Americans have forgotten the meaning of food. We've grown to be so used to excess food that we don't even realize why we we eat. Are we eating to live, or living to eat?

This is probably the worst time of year where excess of waste is at its peak, and really saddens me. Sure, I could give to a charity to help the less fortunate, blah blah blah (but let's not get into my issue with charities), but I really don't think giving away my hard earned money to help a "supposedly" unfortunate family will make me feel better. In fact, I think I'd be a little more sad than before giving the money. I'd still feel so guilty that I have what maybe 90% of the world does not have: shelter, food, family, an education and a credit card.

So how am I going to do my 'part'?

Well, I don't think I'd take the "freegan" route. I mean, I give props to those who do it and stuff, but there has to be a more convenient (and less barbaric?) way to get food like that. Like, just asking the restaurant or grocery store for "wasted food" instead of waiting with the raccoons in an alley for the garbage run.

I look around myself and I see that I really do have too much stuff. Looking at my expenses, there are frivolous things that I can avoid buying that can turn into waste, like anything disposable or "one time use". Yes, I'm going to start advocating. In fact, I think this Christmas I'm going to wrap all my gifts in newspaper, and why not? Newspaper is recycled paper and I have plenty of it lying around. Wrapping paper is just paper with some fancy and meaningly patterns. Besides, by using newspaper, it'll keep in theme with my "homemade gifts" this year. I also encourage everyone else who is planning on giving me a gift, to either wrap it in newspaper or don't wrap it at all.

So this is how I'll do my part: instead of donating to a charity to help the less fortunate, I'm going to undonate to the most fortunate. My way of balancing out the universe, I guess.


kish the dish said...

Let's undonate from rich Americans by bombing their centres of commerce!

(That was my Christmas gift to you: a SWAT team instead of Santa coming down the chimney to pick you up for the nice folks at Homeland Security. Merry merry!)

Anyway, someone should tell the freegans about compost, and you should talk to a starving university resident *ahem* before accusing everyone of being frivolous and wasteful eaters.

spinderella said...

Starving uni student? Hardly. "Kish", you live one street away from me and for some reason you CHOSE to live on rez in Toronto. That is frivolous to me.

You really shouldn't complain about being broke when you put yourself there. LOL

{jeŦ} said...

“Undonate” to those with the –most- eh? I guess that means no more CDs, booze, movies, or fashion-savvy clothing whatsoever eh?

Unless, of course, you argue that you'll only “undonate” in cases where things would be excessive, and therefore would still donate when it was more convenient, or aided you in some way.

But wait? Aided in some way? Like the way that Kish living in Rez saves him mad travel cost, and more importantly -time-, while he studies something ridiculously difficult in his 26 class-hour week and subsequently spends most of his free time studying or working, and puts him in direct proximity of people that can help him succeed? Geez Kish, you’re so damn wasteful, what’s your deal?

spinderella said...

The cost of living on rez plus food and all that boozing and partying I hear about him doing totally exceeds the cost of free meals, room and board at your parents and transportation (it isn't that expensive compared to driving, where there is gas and insurance consideration). There's more I can add, but it would get too personal. But that's not my original point. I don't even know how Paul's living arrangement has to do with how people waste too much (money is totally another issue).
If I donate to where it aids, why not? Obviously I purposely 'donated' to put it to some sort of use and I am picky with that kind of stuff. If that makes me stingy, then so be it.

{jeŦ} said...

"I don't even know how Paul's living arrangement has to do with how people waste too much (money is totally another issue)"

...and ...

"you live one street away from me and for some reason you CHOSE to live on rez in Toronto. That is frivolous to me."

...are contradictory comments. Calling Paul's decision to live on Rez "frivolous" is what led me to believe that was part of the issue.

Also, when I spoke of "donating when it aided you", I meant you would still give money to say, extremely high prices fashion items, for your own delight. If that's the case, I don't see how you can justify calling Paul's decision "frivolous". Yes, he may party it up, he also works quite hard (in my opinion) and the benefits of Rez in terms of the academic support are extremely useful, as I'm sure he'll attest.

When speaking of "waste", food and money are almost always mentioned in the same breath, and rightfully so.

Kish the Dish said...

Starving university student? Precisely. The heavy schedule Jeff mentions is the reason I sleep 5 hours or less on an average night, and the reason I drink three extra large coffees daily. I regularly skip breakfast and often lunch because half an hour spent eating makes it harder to meet my multiple, daily deadlines for labs, assignments, problem sets and papers; other times I'll be too busy studying for quizzes, tests and midterms. Unlike the poor student, I'm too busy to eat regular meals. I'm sorry I wasn't clearer.

I CHOOSE to live in res because I can't spare three hours a day commuting, and because I rely on a network of friends and classmates without whose help I doubt I'd succeed in school (and vice versa). I also like the idea of living in a building that's newer and more energy-efficient than my house, and using no transportation besides my own two feet. Total cost is more than than commuting by about $3000 annually; my parents support my living downtown for my education and their sanity.

I attend less than one party at school per event you see me at; all in all I get out maybe two nights in three weeks. Only one of those will involve drinking. Not only the 'boozing and partying', but even the normal social interaction that is 'residence life' goes on daily without my involvement. I belong to the class of people labelled no-fun, shut-in engineers.

I normally avoid whining about school because I've willingly taken this route, but please understand school imposes many restrictions on me while granting few freedoms.

spinderella said...

I don't even understand how we're arguing about this. I'm talking about people who spend the money and then waste and somehow we got onto talking about the woes of being a university student.

And it doesn't take 1.5 hours to get downtown. What route are you taking?

And I actually don't buy expensive clothes. In fact, I make the effort to NOT buy expensive clothes by making the effort of seeking out and going out of my way to make it to sample sales and outlet malls. I don't even like retail! No idea where the idea I buy expensive clothes came from. Just cuz I like looking at expensive clothes doesn't mean I've lost (all) common sense.

{jeŦ} said...

"People that spend money and then waste" -> the basic topic is money+waste, as such you're talking about wasting commercial goods after purchase, and by corollary wasting money on goods in general.

We're not arguing about the woes of being a university student.

Basically, you called Paul living in Rez a frivolous decision in the same light that you mentioned waste. That's garbage and I called you on it, that's the issue.

As for the clothes, I'm not saying you go to New York and burn money to be hip. I'm saying that if you get items from certain distributors (i.e. - major players in "the industry") even on sale, you're still giving money to people that have "the most", for whatever the reason, however you look at it. The fact that you paid less doesn't change -who the money goes to-. Which is fine, whatever works for you, -unless- you tell other people that they're wasting money on frivolous things somehow, like Paul+Rez. That's the issue.

My argument is that your idea of "not giving to those with the most" is fine in principle, and good on you for trying to make a difference, but don't go on sassing other people for making different purchases for aiding purposes, because that's hypocritical.