Since we the consumer are as vain about food as we are about the one gray hair on your head certain companies are attempting to reduce waste using marketing. And sure marketing has the stench of vile consumerism, exploitation and manipulation, but this might be the only time manipulating human minds about imperfections has a noble cause.
I would love to live in a world without being blasted by marketing and advertising all the time, but considering that’s our reality, if there is a positive application to it, why not use the tools in our toolbelt. It would be great to be driving down the highway and amongst the slew porn stores and crosses we saw a sign that said “Don’t waste your food. It ok to get smaller portions, no one will think less of you for less food.” “Smaller plate means bigger heart!” “Eat that whole banana for a more satisfying sex life! And compost to make this world a better place for your partner!”
And with the way Copia works the conservatives and pretend liberals that don’t help the homeless can be on board this with this too! It is job creation, and since America is all about having someone do shit for you, since personal responsibility & accountability is something that this country forgotten about like most of its history, this is exactly what we need to make a cultural shift on food waste. Someone has to pick up and drop off the food, load the trucks, work on the app and so on! And sure you could say that Copia can hire the homeless, but let’s make sure they’ve got enough energy to do a job first, rather than one that needs some training, by feeding them.
And I know with the way things are right now, I’m sure there’s a lot of you against the idea of using technology for anything since we’ve gotten news about the Cambridge Analytica debacle, but this is proof that algorithms and data analysis can be used the right way. And fear not, I will be talking about the Cambridge Analytica issue and what that means soon. You can subscribe to my channel to make sure you don’t miss out on it. See advertising for positive means. I’m the wonky fruit of the comedy world.
Another major issue that leads to food waste is the increase in the size of refrigerators. Since the 70s, the size of refrigerators have increased by 15%! And this means more space to fill. When it comes to food, Americans are very uncomfortable with white space. Discomfort with WHITE space is the only time America has been uncomfortable with something related to the color white. And if you’re thinking “what about White Supremacy?” I think with current state of things I think there’s a group of people that are very comfortable with that.
With this, we load our fridges up with as much food as we can get in there. And because of that we waste the food we bought because they’re lost in the abyss of excess we call the modern refrigerator. And even though we waste this food, we as the consumer don’t feel as bad about throwing that food away because we at least paid for it.
This is the real hypocricity of consumerist gluttony. The idea of consumerism wants us to get more and fill all the space and make sure it’s all for us. Our bodies tell us to stop but our systems manipulate the brain to think that we just need one more bite. And when the food goes to waste we feel just a little better because we didn’t give into that manipulation of one more bite. A real fuck you to not just consumerism, also your wallet and anyone that food could have fed. A fuck you with no winner except the negative manipulations of advertising.
This obsession with size has led us to ignore the reality of portion sizes. Not only have refrigerators gotten larger since the 60’s, but plates have increased in size by 36%! And that makes sense, when JFK died Americans needed to fill that hole with something so over eating is all we could do. That and invade the moon over and over and over again, just like Kennedy wanted. Take that moon! Not only will we take your rocks, but use your image to sell oversized pies to Americans that have already had 2 desserts that day!
We are constantly encouraged to overeat and create more waste! Fast food joints ask you to supersize your meals. At the dinner table we’re encouraged to go for seconds. Buffets are basically the gluttony lunch special! Olive Garden has ENDLESS soup, salad and breadsticks! It’s like the black hole of portion control! You’ve eaten so much food that it bends and warps your sense time and reality.
But there is a place that is decreasing food waste based on portion control and is seeing results. University of California Santa Barbara got rid of their trays so kids with no impulse control can get right amount of food they want. This cut back on food waste by 50%! With better portion control, that means these kids have the right amount of energy to keep learning instead of getting too loagey and falling asleep in class. No wonder history repeats itself. We overeat and then fall asleep during our history lesson of how not to repeat our atrocities.
The only concern I have with this tactic is if Abstinence Only education groups get ahold of this and decide to decrease bed sizes by 50%! But unfortunately unlike portion control, horny control never really works. And it’s not like sex at college is limited to the bed! What they should do is increase the amount of Free Condoms at colleges by 69%.
So a large question is, how do companies like Copia, FoodCloud and FareShare get food to Food Banks if we’ve reduced the quantity of food available to the world? The point isn’t repeat the history of using these people as a scapegoat to create more consumerist food waste in the world. The point is to have the right amount of food so each and every one of us has enough to eat. We’ve talked about how corporations exploit generosity and champion it but if we divert away from this we can actually progress.
These apps can be used to make a more efficient system. Using the data they have, they can determine exactly how much fruits and vegetables need to go to what store in what city to ensure every citizen is fed. The future of these apps is not in Food redistribution, but the regular distribution itself. And these apps might be able to get rid of gluttony in our culture.
Shit even God couldn’t do that. Which might just prove that God still has a flip phone. Which might be an explanation as to why the Cambridge Analytica debacle didn’t reveal their existence, and might prove there are humans richer than God and our technology is too expensive. If God can’t afford the iPhone X we might have rethink the efficiency of our technology.
Gluttony is a sin that psychologically plays on our status. A status that is linked to the filling spaces and how the more food you can waste means the higher up the totem pole you are. Without this idea of excess based status, decreasing the size of what we eat on can decrease the amount of food we waste, and can make healthier citizens and eventually lead to a more fair and just world.
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!