During a discussion last week on the show, the comment was made that America is “so wasteful” when it comes to food. To which I responded, “well I don’t care about that,” met by howls and boos across the fruited plains.
This is simply a fundamental disagreement about our roles on Earth when it comes to ourselves and each other. Allow me to explain.
Waste, and the ability to engage in such, is the result of prosperity. Period.
America “wastes,” because it can, in droves. It’s not, in my opinion, a matter of selfishness or apathy, it’s a function of being the most prosperous nation on Earth and follows the same examples set by the Roman Empire, the British Empire, and every group around the world that has ever been at the top of the food chain. It is also not new in American history. Other than times that necessitated it (Civil War, Great Depression), America has, for over two centuries proudly discarded food (and most other things) at a rate greater than any other nation on Earth.
Speaking of the food chain, let’s look to nature for some insight. When a pack of lions kills a gazelle, the leader of the pack eats first and takes as much as he wants of the best parts of the animal. He then allows the weaker members to nibble on whatever dregs he has allowed. The translation to America would be the infantile idea that once those of us who can afford to eat are done, we should then along our food to those who are hungry. For starters, do whatever you want with whatever you’d paid for, but keep in mind the old adage, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Secondly, creating some sort of national system in which restaurants would re-serve food from plates that had not been cleaned is a total violation of every health policy and code we’ve all come to appreciate. Despite the occasional hair, bug and rat head found in American food, and the antipathy many of have towards most government oversight, America has, by far, the cleanest, most sanitary food on Earth. Dumbing down any sort of regulation in the name of charity is beyond silly.
More importantly is the assertion of “waste,” and the road it leads us down.
For decades, everyone from guilty Americans, to bleeding hearts to Socialists have decried wasteful America, and they’re not speaking of food. (By the way, quick side note…no country on Earth feeds more starving foreigners than America. It’s not even close. And at home, we have the single greatest infrastructure on the planet for dealing with hungry citizens, unless you literally want to transform our nation to one of Socialism).
The most quoted statistic is as follows: America accounts for less than 5% of the world’s population, yet accounts for more than 25% of the world’s usage of natural resources.
With such consumption, America has prospered beyond any other nation’s wildest dreams and, in turn, has helped more people far and wide, than every other single nation on Earth combined. Period.
Yes, it’s sad that people starve, are diseased, are hopeless, and are oppressed. To whit, America has helped countless tens of millions of such people both domestically and abroad escape such realities. I make no apologies for our consumption or our alleged “waste,” and neither should you.