Aside from cyclones, earthquakes, wars, and politics, there are still mountains of depressing news. A depressive economy. An unhealthy population. A global food crisis.
I can choose to ignore wars that happen across the oceans. The same with cyclones and earthquakes. I can turn my nose up at the unhealthy. I can hoard my savings little by little as I can when I can. But I can't choose not to eat.
I've never experienced a life without easy access to food. I remember once when I was a teenager, I went to the neighborhood grocery store. I put the bags in my trunk and duly locked the keys in my car. It was good I didn't have ice cream. I ran back to my house, no more than a mile, got another set of keys and made my sister or mom or someone take me back to the store. I think that is the most I've ever worked for my food.
But food in excess is a luxury. Regardless of my acknowledgment of the luxury, it is just that. When I hear news reports of the cost of bread in Egypt, the rising prices in America, the starving people in crisis around the world, I take another look at the way I buy groceries. I work hard to only buy what we need, eat everything, and only throw out what is unsalvageable.
Yet, until lately, I have turned a blind eye to my work. Working as a junior high youth minister, I am regularly bombarded with ideas to slather the kids up in chocolate sauce and roll them down a hill. People love getting into food and making it messy. But the voices of the women who can't afford a loaf of bread ring in my ears. They yearn for the simplest of foods and I am promoting extravagant wastefulness?
This simply cannot be. And so gracefully, from here forward (actually several months ago) food-wasting fun will be eliminated from the repertoire.
Food is for nourishment and it should be respected as so.