Waste not, want not

I was walking along the row of shop houses near my home this morning on my way to get my daily newspaper. As with many other housing areas in this country, the pavement, parking areas and sidewalk have been invaded by table and chairs belonging to the food stalls and cafes. You can hardly find a space to park. That is one of the reason I would rather walk or cycle to the shops. But that is beside the point. I noticed a lot of families having breakfast in this place. Breakfast at home with the family is fast becoming a rarity these days for KLites, including yours truly. What I found rather sad  is the fact that a lot of left over foods on the plates. The same thing were observed in the Aidil fitri open houses that I went. Mind you, the number of invitations that I get to attend Aidil fitri open houses can easily surpass the number of bills that I got this month.

what a waste

Back to the point of uneaten food. I found it very irritating if people not finishing their food on the plate, especially at buffet. If you think the food is so nice, why not try to take a tiny portion of each, rather than heaping them on your plate as if you’re going to war and leave most of them untouched later.  Never go to a  feast when your stomach is empty. This is when your tummy deceive you into thinking that you can gobble up all of them. It is a real pity when all over the world, famine and poverty is still a major problem. I have chided a few friends on this matter. Many of them now refuse to sit on the same table with me over meals as I would invariably ask them why are they not finishing their food. My late mother would even asked me to pick up every grain of rice that fell to the floor and make sure that we got a tongue lashing if we did not finish our food. She would say, the rice would cry if we did not eat them up. In this season of AidilFitri festivities I often wonder how much food have gone to waste.

Having said that, sometimes it is quite difficult not to waste as we are in the tropics. The chemical reaction that make food go bad is very quick. After a few hours, food would deterroriate to a stage no longer fit for human consumption. Unless you have a huge freezer, uneaten food would quickly turn into semi compost state in record time, especially if they have been contaminated during the preparation stage. Recently, we were expecting many visitors but due to traffic congestion and sheer number of open houses, many invited guests could not come. We tried to save the food by freezing them, unfortunately it did not work. We had to bin them. How I wish we had enough space in this tiny abode of ours to have a composting site. In the village in the old days, the left over would be fodder for the chickens, ducks or even cats. I can almost feel my late mother glaring at us. We should all learn how to convert well preserved leftover into something edible that would reduce wastage.

Every modern household should have this book

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