My parents grew up during the privations of World War Two and it’s aftermath. Everything was used to its max and sometimes beyond. My mother particularly inherited the can’t-waste-it mentality; she uses pots that must be pushing 50 years old. And I learned at her knee.
I thought it was common to cut the leg off a pair of nylons when I got a hole. Then pair it with a similarly mutilated one. Wearing two midriffs held my stomach in well and of course I got some more life out of the healthy legs that were left.
I mentioned this apparently brilliant notion of thrift to my friends one day only to have them fall about laughing. They had never heard of such a thing.
So I asked them if they didn’t cut open bottles of face cream and scoop out the dregs that collected around the bottom and the top.
They did not.
They also didn’t save scraps of soap and squish them together nor did they swish water around a bottle of shampoo to get a couple more latherings. These were just regular people too, not rich or snooty.
So, I don’t know, maybe I’m out of step but I still do all these little things. Seems commonsense, cost effective and quaint. I’m proud of my mother for doing these things. Nowadays, she’s considered green.
However, I have developed one habit that isn’t so sensible, a bit weird and maybe even slightly pathological.
I can’t throw away food.
Nope, can’t do it. Just can’t bear to. I can’t even write why. Because I don’t know.
I tell myself it has bacteria in it or on it. I tell myself I could make myself sick. Then I tell myself these people who make up the guidelines for throwing out food err on the side of caution, are in cahoots with the food manufacturers, or just plain ridiculous.
I can’t throw away food.
Instead, I cook the food to death (for the second or third time,) I refreeze it, I smell it, I move it around the fridge or ignore it sitting there.
But mostly I serve it up and cross my fingers.
I’m sure many of you are aghast, disgusted even, but the thing I do that I consider worse than crossing my fingers is eating when I’m not hungry just because I can’t bear to throw it away. I see it in my fridge, know it’s time will soon be up, tell myself it’s perfectly good food and in it goes.
Instead of going to waste, it goes on my waist.
My weight creeps up and then I have to work at that. Could I make life even more difficult for myself? Enough already!
I can’t even begin to analyze why I do this, take these risks, and I don’t want to. Who cares why, lets work on what.
I set myself a goal of throwing something away everyday. Yesterday it was chicken with spaghetti. Today, it was cream cheese. I have the suckers identified for at least tomorrow and the next day.
I’m hoping that this aversion therapy will cure me of the problem. Because, truly, holding on to things that don’t support you isn’t helpful. Holding on to things that can hurt you is self harm. No doubt with deep, painful roots.
So in time I’m hoping I can develop new habits. That I see food past its best before date for what it is; trash. It’ll take some time, some effort. And when I do, I’ll start work on the next thing. One day, I’m gonna be just perfect. 🙂
(I wrote an update to this post. You can read it here.)
Do you find it easy to throw away food? How do you do it? Or do you wait for it to become a science experiment? Let me know in the comments!
If you liked this article, please do me a favor and ‘like’ my Facebook Fan page. You can find the box in the sidebar. I would so appreciate it! Thank you.