Tao of Food Preparation Recipes

Tao of Food Preparation Recipes
'Living' E-book

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lessons I Learned From My Daughter's Visit: Food, Laws and Waste

It was a sunny day in Asheville, North Carolina. I was visiting my daughter who came to the US from the Philippines for work training. Leon and I were eating at a restaurant. I noticed the waitress cleaning the table next to us. I saw the half-eaten pieces of food on the table that is being thrown away. 

This was not the first time I noticed this. I saw food being wasted also at the grocery store near us in Dallas not to mention the food we waste in our own kitchen and the food being wasted in tv shows like the Food Network etc.

At the store in Dallas, I noticed they throw away bulk produce just because people have put them in bags and they left them laying around in the store because they decided not to buy them. I interviewed several people working in the store and they said that they throw those away because they were told to do that. These are big bags of macadamias, pistachios etc.

 I can see that this is what is happening here;
 the law prohibits returning the produce back to the container due to possible food contamination - so bulk food products in plastic containers laying around the store are being thrown away by employees to indicate they follow the company rules and regulations which the employer agreed to uphold.

We usually justify this by saying, 'the law is protecting the public from getting ill'. 

In the country where I grew up, we get cookies from a cookie jar inside the small countryside stores and if we got more than what we intended to, we return it to the cookie jar and that's all there is to it. Do we get sick more than the Americans? No.

I am not saying that is better than having food laws. I am just looking at the consequence outflow of having the kind of money system that we have - based on some having more and some having less.

I also want to look at our starting point in making laws. The people who make the laws are ordinary people like us who we voted and they, like us, fear being sick too. 

When we are sick we cannot work and earn money.

The laws and regulations that are being made by legislators are driven by fear. We make these laws based on fear.  

The bulk food items in the US store I mentioned above were not even handled by hand. We normally take bulk food items like walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamias etc. from the bulk containers using a big spoon. We then put them in plastic containers to bring home.

Most of the time, the reason we leave some of the food items in the store - the ones we initially thought of buying, is because we do not have enough money to pay for them. We can correct this by being aware of how much money we have when we enter the store and being aware of what we need to buy.

A health care system that will pay for our hospitalization when we get sick that is available to all from birth to death is not in place. We have to put this in. This is the reason why we fear being sick - because it costs money.

We can restructure our ecosystem of money so that we can make laws and regulations that will support what is mutually beneficial for all

We need a  living income that will give everyone the basic necessities we need plus in addition to that, it will not hurt to have additional income to spend to pay for things we enjoy doing.

Where are we going to get the money to implement this?

There are many ways to do this, but one option is, we can get some money from the corporations who get produce or raw materials from the earth - raw materials that the earth intended to give all of us equally. They can get money for the upkeep of the corporation but the rest of the profit should be given to all of us for whom the earth gave it to. 

We cannot accept and allow some children NOT to eat (from this country or another country) while some waste food and throw them away. We cannot just give a little bit to others. We are all here on earth. We all eat from the earth. We breathe the same air. We cannot just give them a little bit through charity. This is diminishing the life that is equal in all of us.

We have to give others equal shares. 
We are equal share-holders to what the earth gives us.

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