Comments on: Recycling: It’s Also About Food The EPA Blog Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:59:42 +0000 hourly 1 By: electra27 Sun, 15 Dec 2013 21:30:48 +0000 How did I become a recycler, whatever it may be, whether food, material items such as clothing, furniture or even rescued cats? Short answer: from my mother, the ultimate recycler. Strapped with severe financial constraints, an uneducated immigrant from German, she started in this country with a hard work ethic & much ingenuity & resourcefulness. She knew if we didn’t make the best of what we had all four of us children and our father would all suffer.
I heard like many of you the “finish your plate, there are starving people overseas…’ –it must have sunk in for in 3rd grade for an essay in school on what I would invent, I said a machine that would dry left over food so it could be shipped overseas.
It helped that my mother worked in food all her life, so she knew the tricks of the trade. My siblings & I would always try to spot what was in the night’s meal that was snuck in as leftovers.
As a college student, I read the book “Living more with Less” by the Mennonites, which gave multiple examples of how one could waste less & be more resourceful, including food. For instance, at a social gathering have limited choices of dishes so people wouldn’t be tempted to try everything & thus overeat. Many of these examples came from overseas. Also as a college student I lived overseas & there saw how poor people utilized their meager resources. It would later come to haunt me as it is hard to waste food when I have a distinct image of the starving, for example, in Lima Peru…. It doesn’t feel right to overeat or waste food when others are starving…
My mother, once again, as a retired senior on a limited income in Florida, would tell me about her “special store” which turns out was a dumpster behind the supermarket where she & others would glean good food that was thrown out because of expiration dates or slight damage…
Also since childhood, I have had an interest in China, so as a young adult during a course on China we saw a movie, and I was appalled to see the birth defects & rampant pollution. So when I think of all the stuff we are dumping, especially after reading “Garbology” & discovering how we are hurting our world and probably eventually will be eating carcinogens with non-compostable garbage….it makes me really want to conserve.
These days I try to go to the supermarket every other day, & buy small amounts so that I can finish them before they spoil. I try to order children’s portions when allowed at eat out places, & I would really like to see a law that puts the portion size back into the hands of the consumer. Can the EPA or NYC government help with this? On Mondays I bring my non-used food to the recycle tent near our subway stop. It takes 2 minutes. & I feel good about it.