I have a favorite cookbook produced by the Mennonites “More-with-Less Cookbook”. It has 50 pages of information about world hunger and nutrition. The way they use food is, for the Mennonites, an expression of their Christian faith. Many of us joke about when our parents told us, “Eat your green beans. The children in China are starving.” The punch line was, “So wrap it up and send it to them.” What a diminishing thing to say! There were children in the world that were and still are starving. I don’t know how to solve the problem of wasted food in households where children are learning to eat, (though I do as a parent educator have some ideas about getting kids to eat.) But I think planning and serving wisely and consciously can help.
I tend to be a compulsive overeater which makes me feel a bit guilty when I am reading a book about the poor in the world or when I have friends who are depending on the local food shelf to feed themselves. A couple of days ago, I decided to plan my meals conscious of the actual amount of meat, grains and vegetables I actually need. It hasn’t been easy but keeping to my plan is a bit easier when I think about the poor. I don’t think of it as a weight loss diet, but rather as just taking my fair share. It seems to be an improvement over the idea of wrapping my leftovers and sending them to China. Instead, I am not taking what I don’t need in the first place so that someone else can have it. I realize this practice, now only three days old, doesn’t really achieves anything. Maybe I should do that Lenten thing: take the money I save when I buy less food and put it in a little bowl and give it to the food shelf. Or maybe I can use my practice as a form of prayer, which is what Lenten fasting is supposed to be.
I don’t know how long my resolve will last. Anybody want to join me?