Sunday, December 8, 2013

Waste Not Want Not

The theme of a recent episode of Chopped was "Wasted". The premise of Chopped is to make great meals from random ingredients that are placed in a basket, that don't necessarily go together, within a short time frame. Contestants are required to make an appetizer, entree and dessert and do not know the basket contents until it is time to make the meal. The winner receives a check for $10,000.00. On this particular show, the basket contained items that are typically tossed.
Ingredients included:
  • Fish carcass
  • Overripe tomatoes
  • Wilted carrots
  • Potatoes with eyes
  • Ends of Bread
  • Orange halves already squeezed
  • Used coffee grounds
  • Hardened brown sugar
This show was a revelation to me as most of the above items would not be tossed by me. Now none of these foods strike me as waste; as a matter of fact I've used and probably still use some of these items when I cook, and everyone is still standing!

This show highlighted the old adage that one man's garbage is another mans treasure. My ancestors had nothing or were given the scraps and created amazing meals to survive on, which we now call Soul Food. Where I'm from, nothing goes to waste. My mom made sure to use everything that was edible in all of our meals. I watched her get the last bit of ketchup from a bottle by pouring hot water in the container, shaking it up and then pouring it out. In terms of food nothing went to waste and that mentality carried over in to other areas of our lives.

Willful waste makes woeful want.
In this joyous season, waste is the thing that undergirds many of our acquisitions. I'm all for shopping and getting a bargain but not at the expense of incurring debt. One can infer from the many statistics that are based on America's national debt that we need to be careful how we spend. I came across this bit of information as I was writing this post:
As of December 2, 2013, the official debt of the United States government is $17.2 trillion ($17,235,032,379,906).[1] This amounts to:
• $54,372 for every person living in the U.S.[2]
• $140,741 for every household in the U.S.[3]
• 102% of the U.S. gross domestic product.[4]
• 542% of annual federal revenues.[5]
 On a large scale, don't waste your money buying stuff you don't need even if it is on sale. Guess what, you still won't need it. Live within your means. Be creative with what you have. When it comes to food, before you toss, ask yourself, "Can something else be done with this?"
I've been guilty of wasting food and other essentials; I'm challenging myself to go back to the basics.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

Do you re-purpose in general or only with food? Are you creative with food? Have you scaled back this holiday season? 

1 comment:

  1. You know I'm terrible at using all the food in the house before I buy other foods...I need to do better because I end wasting a lot of food as a result.


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