While perusing Facebook, I noticed a friend of mine had posted this article: One Country’s Table Scraps, Another Country’s Meal. Her response generally indicated disgust at her and America’s habits regarding wasted food. (A website the article linked to was this: Wasted Food.com, if more information interests you.)
My response is: To who in America does this article actually apply?
I am a middle-to-lower-class, 20s, female, university graduate. The primary food that’s wasted in my home includes some condiments and the scrapings from the bottom of some pot meals (when they are too filling to finish fast enough). My significant other (SO) and I cook pot meals because we can’t buy all the ingredients to have something nice every night.
I keep a tight ship on expiration dates. Expiration dates are a good guideline when preparing meals, since they help you make sure you eat what you used hard-earned money to buy.
Another guideline I try to follow is not to overbuy fresh produce. When my SO and I shop, we buy fresh produce only when we plan to eat it that evening (or into the next). Grains are excellent to add different foods to, so make a good nonperishable staple in our kitchen.
From my studies of Green literature, I understand there are different ways in which waste rears its ugly head. I do not believe it is necessary that we all beat our heads on our proverbial walls of depression just because we seem to the rest of the world to be a bunch of fat American losers without consciences.
As a nation, we have yet to truly step ourselves into gear.
- Our every city needs to take mandatory steps to recycle.
- Households must be educated in methods of the “3 R’s” learned in elementary school: reduce, reuse, recycle.
- Those who make our everyday products (anything, really) need to use organic, non-invasive materials that stop harming our health.
- Factories need to clean up their acts. (Why doesn’t they stop belching black smoke and make sure to use air filters? How is it that with all the news on pollution, some factories still unrestrictedly dump their waste into the environment?)
- People should buy locally-grown produce, since that (1) supports local farmers and (2) saves on gas emissions for shorter transportation. While the price of organic food is higher than what you might expect (on average, I’d say double the price of whatever you have in mind, though some things are cheaper), it reflects the realistic price range of what you consume. The only reason grocery stores can sell at the prices they do is because they sell, in bulk, either genetically-altered produce (yields more crops because they are bred that way) or processed, flash-frozen “stuff” (what I like to call “crap food” – includes microwave meals, anything with Red #40 or other dyes, high fructose corn syrup, etc.).
So, what does all this mean? The media does not provide the whole picture. I am a low-income individual; I only mean to say that people who can’t afford to waste probably waste less than the national “average.”
Regarding technical writing: Avoid bias. Show all angles of an argument. To make your point, choose a perspective. Remember to provide the evidence.