A Little African Perspective

Many Americans grew up with the ‘clean your plate, there are starving children in Africa’ admonishment.  Apparently, some African immigrants use a similar expression today. Good to know!

I think this post by “Ms. KB,” a Liberian woman now living in Pennsylvania, has an interesting and unusual perspective on food waste. Plus, she spins a good yarn.

Wasting food: My kids wasted food so much that I thought I should just dump the food into the trash as soon as I get them home and bypass their stomach, its going to end there anyway so why bother to cook it first. One day, I really needed to teach these yahoos a lesson. I called a friend of mind that I used to volunteer with at the food shelter on weekends and told her what I had in mind for my kids that Saturday. She did not want to do what I had planned but you know me, stubborn is my first name, she agreed and gives in.

I told the kids we were eating out, they were so happy I heard them jumping up and down. From working at the food shelter, I knew around what time they ran out of food for the day, so I packed those yahoos in the car and headed for the shelter. I circled around few times pretending to be looking for a good parking space until I saw my friends signal, I told the kids to get out and get in line, they were shocked, why are we eating here? “Well sweetheart, since you all wasted most of the food before I can get my paycheck, we ran out of food and I am not getting pay until next Friday, so this will have to do”. Get in line; I will be there as soon as I park the car.

I witness those sad faces coming back to the car; I asked what happened like I had no idea, “they ran out of food mom what are we going to do, one said; does that mean we are not eating” said the other, “I guess so honey, we can go home and cook us some noodles for lunch, ok?” They were quieted all the way home, NOT ME, I took this opportunity to remind them of all the times they wasted my food and if they didn’t we would have a house full of food to eat today; how those food could have been sent to Africa to feed the hungry children. These days they think, smell and taste before wasting anything.

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