Monday, November 2, 2009

Take All You Want But Eat All You Take

I am thrilled to feature Guest Blogger, Joy Ike, tonight. She has something to say that is sure to convict every one of us....yet one more common sense approach to living more responsibly. Thanks Joy!

I’m thinking this post will be especially relevant seeing as we’ve hit a brick wall as a nation. The unemployment rate is up to 10% and people are cutting back on vacations and spending less all across the board. The fact is, Americans are being forced to learn how to save wisely and spend wisely. My question is: why didn’t we start sooner? And does anybody else agree with me that we found ourselves in this mess because our culture is addicted to the idea of wasteful consumption? I agree with me if that means anything.

As it relates specifically to food, I have personally always been put off by how much we take what’s on our plate for granted. CNN says that “according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), if just 5 percent of Americans' food scraps were recovered it would represent one day's worth of food for 4 million people.” That’s the population of Puerto Rico! But most of us don’t need a statistic to tell us this. You and I both know how easy it is throw out those last few bites.

So why do we do it? We do it because we don’t worry about whether or not we’ll have something to eat tomorrow. We rest in the fact that there is always more. And because there will always be more, there is supposedly no need to conserve. We would willingly change this mentality if we truly understood how our excess could revolutionize another’s lack. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t know where you were getting your next meal from. Sob stories aside, there are people who actually wonder this every day.

Here are some practical ways we all can act more wisely in terms of how we eat:

Think Before You Act

Before your order a dish at a restaurant, ask yourself: “Will I really eat this whole thing?” Is this plate really worth $16?

Split It

Order one dish for two people. Seriously.

Doggie Bag It

Don’t let that waiter take your plate away unless he plans to bring it back out in a box.

Monetize It

If you’re spending $12 on a plate and you only eat half of what’s there, you’re literally throwing away $6. And $6 adds up fast!

Commit to Donating

If you’re willing to let that $6 go, then consider donating to a charity that really needs those funds. Rice Bowls (a favorite or mine) is an excellent organization that provides rice to orphans in Third World Countries.

Consider the fact that…
…15 million children die of hunger every year

Visit Stop The Hunger for real-time statistical counters regarding issues of world poverty and American consumption.

Read the referenced CNN article in its entirety “Food Waste”:

Joy Ike is an independent artist based out of Pittsburgh, PA. In her spare time she plays scrabble and cooks various recipes that all taste the same. She runs a marketing blog for musicians called Grassrootsy ( and is a full time performer. For more information, visit

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