Once, when my kids were little, we went to a friend’s house for the afternoon, on a day when there was to be a co-op delivery. It happened that a large box of mangoes was indeed delivered among the various and sundry items that appeared that day.
My friend opened the box and set it on the table, then invited both her children and mine to enjoy the fruit. It was a joyous mess of a feast, but when I noticed that the kids were about to finish off the entire box, I made mention of it. In my house, I’d have cautioned my kids not to eat everything in one sitting, so as to have more for later. My friend said it didn’t matter how much they ate. She wanted the kids to enjoy the fruit while it was fresh. That they did. The whole box was gone by the time we left.
A few summers ago, when I’d yet again wasted some of a gorgeous box of strawberries, it suddenly occurred to me that my friend had the preferable approach. Waste often happens, at least in my house, because of my tendency to want to save a little for later, but by the time “later” comes, the food is no longer optimal. In a world that desperately needs us to stop wasting food, this is a sad state of affairs.
So these days, if I buy fresh produce, I encourage everyone to eat as much as they feel like eating and forget about saving any for later. If we run out of something, we can break out the dried fruit or canned beans instead!
“After taking into account the annual adoption of plant-rich diets, if 50-75 percent of food waste is reduced by 2050, avoided emissions could be equal to 10.3-18.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide. Reducing waste also avoids the deforestation for additional farmland, preventing 74.9-76.3 gigatons of additional emissions.”
Is there something fresh in the fridge or on the counter that you cautioned yourself or someone else to save for later? Consider eating it immediately. Then write a poem about your enjoyment of this fresh food while it lasts.
Wild Onion Pesto
Spring came early this year,
and so the wild onions.
Slender greeters of warmer days,
With care, we gathered you.
With thanks, we ground into you:
the tender leaves of new wild mustard,
walnuts, fragrant and firm,
olive oil from Italy (before the suffering came),
salt from the sea, and pepper, black and round.
We will not forget you. We will not leave you
Your wild gift
has made us whole.