Tuesday, December 11, 2012


i was having a conversation with a coworker today about a particularly rank incidence of food wastage that had occurred there some time ago and how it had struck a nerve in quite a few people and had something of a startling impact because of its crassness and the sheer stupid waste...nothing particularly odd in that...or earth-shattering for that matter...after work i went to the supermarket and while i was there i went to the deli to purchase some lunch meat ( a pound of garlic balogna if you must know )the polite and efficient worker behind the counter took a roll of the sausage from the case and dutifully sliced .96 of a pound ( $4.99 ) when she finished slicing the meat there wasn't much of the sausage left..just the end which tapered down and would have resulted in slices of decreasing diameter...i'd estimate there was about a quarter of a pound there just by its thickness...she looked at the piece in her hand and instead of wrapping it up and returning it to the case she tossed it tin a garbage can in an offhand manner...thoughtless...i found listings for thirty-seven food pantries and soup kitchens in lake county indiana any of which probably could have found a use for that meat...doubtlessly there are some arcane and wholly bureaucratic regulations the would prohibit it donation to any such organization ( although i'd wager they could buy it and use it any damned why they wanted...as long as there is a transaction it isn't against the rules...market forces at work )but the dustbin surely didn't need it..so..there's a lot of food around...the industrial food system is geared towards low cost and high volume ( although they do make money on the novelty items and there are always new food products out there that have "value added" processes as a basis for their somewhat higher cost...not to mention all the haute cuisine foodie crap ) has all this abundance inured us to waste? disposable food? admittedly there is a lot of feedstock for it out in the fields around here ( even though it can get to look a bit scary around harvest time...particularly early in the morning ) and the dollar menu might just be a lifeline ( albeit an unhealthy one ) for some of those on the ragged edge of existence out there but i can't help but think that this glut of food all shiny and neatly packaged has lulled us into a state of willful ignorance about just how tenuous it all is and what it is doing to the ecology of the places the raw materials are grown...the header on this blog says "labor instead of chemicals " for a reason...most of us need to get reacquainted with where our food comes from...perhaps even get involved in at least some of its production...maybe we wouldn't be so quick to chuck food into the dumpster.

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