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Sunday, October 2, 2011

What's wrong with this picture? Waste, waste, waste

More to the point--what's wrong with this free corn? My very thrifty side says "nothing." My taste buds say "nothing." This was a gift to the hens, given because it was not salable. Okay, but it is edible. I see corn on the menu for this week. I have never put fresh-off-the-cob corn in soup. But, it will happen this week. Sorry, Fancy. Sorry, Thelma. Sorry, Louise. This belongs to Chickie Mama.

I did get two eggs yesterday, and had this one in my pocket when I was feeding my hens. See the husk end over to the left? Some of the outer husks looks a little dark and slightly shriveled. But, the inner husks are perfectly fine. Maybe this is okay but no one will buy it.

The hens are in the background eating the first ear. I have to break it in thirds so they won't squabble. A hen can pick up the whole ear of corn and run with it, and each one will! It's a great game of take-away.

All this corn, two dozen ears, is trash. Yes, a few ears have been opened, but they will be hen food. And, this is another indoor picture that just did not turn out well.

As I go about my free-food gathering, some for me and some for hens, I am appalled at the waste. If I did not see this with my own eyes, the impact would not be as great. When I eat it and find it is still fresh and tasty, I am horrified at the nutrition that goes to the landfill. I got this box came from the produce counter inside the store. It was not dragged from a dumpster. It had not even been taken  to the back room!

At one point after my divorce, I had no food AT ALL in my house and $0.13 to my name. There were no bits of macaroni, no rice, nothing in the freezer or the fruit and vegetable crispers in the refrigerator, no butter, no condiments, no milk, and not one can on the shelves. No one knew, not even my best friends. I feel so sad now that all this was available and I had no idea.

All the statistics about food waste and hungry people are sort of meaningless except in an abstract way unless you are or have been hungry and have seen food wasted.

Your turn
Would you eat this corn? Have you ever been desperate and broke and not known that there was food going to waste?


  1. oh PP - you are breaking my heart with this post! there is so much food waste on our continent and the idea that people can BE Hungry??? it breaks my heart!

    one of the things that i love about my island is that there are no homeless people. i never learned about or saw a homeless person until i left my island when i was 15.

    homeless people here, and there are some, just get taken from house to house. they are given a meal and a bed and the next morning go back to being homeless and someone else will take them home that day/night.

    how i wish you were closer. we have much land, much more than we need, and at the very least we can offer you vandura to live in. check out my post about vandura. it is in mint condition, has a fridge, stove, electrical outlets and beds.

    our dream is to get a couple of used trailers and plop them all over our land for anyone who wants to come to use.

    yes - i would eat that corn - yer darn tootin's i would!

  2. If a person is living from place to place, that is called "homeless." Seriously, it is. "Homeless" does not necessarily mean living under a bridge, in a tent, or in a cave or box. However, some areas provide more for the homeless than other areas. My dumpster diving (not because I was hungry) has opened my eyes to food waste. I like the food and non-food things I find, but I did not start to find food to eat. That is a nice van!

  3. yes Linda - i agree. when one does not have a place to call "home" - then they are homeless. but the nice thing about my island and how we treat our "homeless" is that they get a good supper and a good night's sleep every night - though they don't have a home. lots of people here take in others who have no homes - but if people want to wander - and some do - they can wander and still have a place to sleep every night. i like that.

    food waste makes me nuts!!!! and my hubby dumpster-dived for years while we were living in the city - and found all kinds of useful things!!! we will be putting up a post about this very soon.

    i am really enjoying your blog and comments back and forth - i am learning much! thank you madame! and that van is always available eh?

    your friend,

  4. LOL...and you are in Nova Scotia. I have never been there.

  5. time to plan a vacation! and i am sure that you could use, and deserve, a vacation!

  6. Yes, to your questions!
    I've noticed that over here (Aust) there is a growing movement which is encouraging supermarkets to donate their unwanted fresh produce instead of throwing it out. Volunteers cook it up and freeze the meals for distribution to those who need it.
    I've often wondered why there can't be 'seconds' bins in the supermarkets, instead of them just dumping food.
    (having trouble posting my comment, hope it gets through)
    Cheerio for now :D)

  7. That movement has been widespread here in the US for awhile. However, not all stores participate. I know of no place that cooks the meals and freezes it for distribution. I imagine that keeps most vegetables from spoiling once people get it home and neglect it or don't know how to properly prepare it.

    I have a friend who gets ten pounds of artichokes each week for many weeks because not but one out of dozens even looks at them, much less takes one. He takes vegetables and fruits and stays up all night putting them up. He worked for 12 hours on strawberries because he had gotten so many. He calls for instructions on the best way to put up things. Now, he wants to learn to can.

    Some stores do have reduced produce, but in my town I only know of one out of a dozen that do.

    Thanks for telling us how things are done in AU.

  8. I've not been hungry though I've been poor. Have you ever heard of Food Not Bombs? You might be able to find a local chapter.

    I tell everybody to locate a local one because you never know when you might need it and you never know when you might be able to help them.
    Yes, I'd eat that corn. I miss the city because of the bargain bins in the grocery stores. What you have there goes to those bins first in those shops.

  9. LindaM,

    I donated 100 lbs of beans and 20 lbs of rice to Food Not Bombs just this last spring. I know several people who work them on the Southside area of Birmingham. I am getting a lesser amount ready for exbf to deliver to a friend's house where the other friend can pick it up. I have lots of activist friends in B'ham.

    We just ate some of the corn today. It should have been eaten when I got it last week. It is not at peak, but still good.


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