Saturday, July 30, 2011

Trash belongs in the Garbage Can

This concept has taken me the better part of a year to really implement into my philosophy of life.

Striving to become the ultra-frugal, frontier-longing, Godly steward, pioneer woman wannabe that I am, I have used to have a real hang-up/issue/problem with throwing food away.  I just hate to be wasteful.  There is no need for it.  We eat boxed food that is "expired," always ask for a to go box if we can't finish our meal, take home leftovers.  We never would think about never used to throw away food.

So when I really started feeling the tug to take care of myself and our family better, I always thought I needed to wait until we ate the food that we had in our cupboards, refrigerator, pantry and so on.  That in the "spirit of Christianity" we couldn't be rude and had to participate (by eating) in the many doughnut fests and pizza parties we were invited to for "church."  I could never bring myself to throw away food and hated offending people by simply enjoying the fellowship without indulging the junk.

I needed to change my idea about the idea of "food" and the idea of "wastefulness."

In order to do this I had to start thinking about and referring to food as food and trash as trash.  I needed to start thinking less conventionally about being wasteful vs. being a steward.


Frozen store-bought chicken tenders are not food.
Boxed Macaroni Cheese is not food.
Bottled Ranch Dressing is not food.
Nutrient depleted processed white pasta is not food.
A whopper, a soda, an order of frozen-deep fried french fries....they are not food!

They are edible.
Some may consider them tasty (myself included).
But they are not food.

They are processed, robbed of all nutrients that once existed in their ingredients, they are chemical and preservative saturated, and they are not food.

Apples are food.
Wheat is food.
Onions are food.
Beans, tree nuts, berries are food.
Raw honey is food. 

This change in understanding (not just that I have the knowledge, but that I actually understand and practice this) will undoubtedly set me on a better path of taking care of myself, our children, our family.

So what are the first list of items if not food?  I'm so glad you asked.

IMHO, they are trash.  Garbage.  What other word can I use to describe something that is no longer useful for anything?  Let's pretend you were to buy a television, and you brought it home, took out the television, the necessary cords, the instruction manual, the remote control, set it up, checked to ensure it worked properly, was satisfied with its recpetion and picture and took the carboard box along with the plastic bags, the Styrofoam inserts and the twist-ties and set it in your garage out of the way.

Later that day your beloved husband is changing the oil in your car (isn't he the sweetest thang?) and while he is carrying his oil pan over to pour into a covered container near his work bench, he trips on a toy that your sweet baby "angel" left out and down he goes, "tripping over the truck that *your son* left out, spilling *your* dirty, nasty oil everywhere, including all over the packaging from the TV that *you* just had to have!"  These are his words, not mine!!

Now....even *if* (and this is a big IF) you bought a television that was packaged with cardboard that can be added to your compost bin, lived near a polystyrene recycling center that would accept the Styrofoam, were planning to save the twist ties and plastic bags (then why did you put them in the garage? ;-p) for future homemade loaves of is now all soaked with 10W-30.
What would you call the box of material leftovers?  I know what I would call it...garbage!  It was useful and beneficial at one time.  But you have taken out the Television and all the useful items, the good stuff, and what is left over is covered in motor oil which is a toxic and harmful chemical to both animals and plants.  Starting to see a resemblance? 

To keep it simple (because if you really want to know all the details, you can find a wealth of information about the actual process and names by doing a few internet searches and reading reliable documents and articles) this is what happens to our food turned garbage.  

Wheat is food.  Then it is "processed" = all or almost all nutrients are removed, the good stuff, then "additives" are mixed in trying to make it taste better, look better and last longer.  Some food are "enriched" (like that white pasta in your mac n cheese) which simply means "stuff" is put back into it to try to add nutritional value that was lost during the "processing."  Nutrients that, in most cases, existed in the wheat before it was processed.  How silly!

To make it even more simple, something we do in our own homes.....we take potatoes, zucchini or onions (all are HIGHLY nutrient-rich and SUPER beneficial for our health---check out some great ideas about the usefulness of onions here) and we do one or more of the following to them: peel them, bread them, deep fry them and dunk them in ranch dressing.  In the words of Brooks and Dunn, "Only in America."

They started out great foods and ended up complete garbage for our bodies.

So what is the better choice of stewardship?  What is more wasteful?  To put the garbage in my body?  Or to put it in the trash can?

1 comment:

  1. We are on the same road... but I can agree with you it has taken time and I am still "cleaning out the pantry" of some things... I hate throwing things away too! I guess I just need to DO IT!