Think about a banana. What are you picturing? Is it a long, spotted, yellow fruit? Is it your favorite level from Mario Kart? Is it a penis? This is one of the things that contributes to the global food waste problem. This mystical idea of what things should look like. Well, if you thought of a dick there might be small chance that you don’t waste as much food as you do masturbate to them and/or possibly also have a sex addiction problem.
40% of food we are supposed to eat goes to waste. Part of this is because there are issues in the distribution pipeline. Now consumers are part of this problem. In the states 43% of what is wasted is because of the consumers! 1 in 8 people go hungry, which a large problem. That’s 12.5% by the way. These are all failing grades in terms of egalitarian societies! Which means for an advanced society we’re pretty remedial in how we feed ourselves.
Ok, so I get that percentages and fractions are not in the American vocabulary. We’re trying to deport those words out with 11.6 million undocumented workers that pick the food that ends up wasted. It would be something if the people wasting that food were doing as an avant garde protest against a misunderstood Immigration system, but I think that Venn Diagram is far too small to contribute a solution to a problem this large.
Since we can’t really figure out how to visualize percentages, let’s talk in terms that we all can understand….money. In America one family of 4 wastes about $1500 worth of food per year! And this isn’t just an American problem. Canadians waste about $31 billion worth of food a year. Australians are at $5.2 billion worth of food, which is larger than their military budget!
That means in Australia, your need to throw away icky fruits outweighs your need to kill. Its ok, Americans will carry the weight of dominating with violence for yah Australia. You keep throwing away that goofy looking clementine, and then we’ll shoot it so it doesn’t hurt anyone ever again.
But that’s how we the consumers dictate the market especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. A wonky looking apple or orange will not bought. And since the consumers are determining what should be kept in the grocery stores, they determine what the grocers buy from farmers. So farmers are now throwing away “ugly” produce. This inefficiency in the distribution pipeline is a result of our own vanity.
So let’s take a look at how this Aesthetically pleasing inefficiency works. On farms in the United Kingdom, farmers have to make a third more of produce because they might miss an “ugly” fruit or something might touch the ground for a second. Over a quarter of bananas globally are discarded because they don’t look pretty enough or they’ve touched the ground for a second. This is the same way basic bitches judge men’s penises, which results in a quarter basic men not getting their dick wet.
It’s interesting that we freak out when an apple touches the ground, but we’re just fine with a bunch of cancer causing agents to be sprayed on that same apple. It’s the 5 second rule of the mindless consumer! It takes 5 seconds of pesticide spray for the fruit to be ruined forever, but yeah, let’s worry about if it has made contact with the earth from whence it came.
So what happens to all the fruit that didn’t make the cut. They either plough them back into the fields to use as fertilizer for next year, or they feed it to livestock! We have to feed to livestock because they don’t understand what beauty is. They just look at piece of fruit and say “Hey look free energy! Wow! This is such great concept. Just free food and energy for me to live my life and hangout with some pals….What’s that metal thing?!”
Seldom does this discarded fruit supply get to a Food Bank or to the 1 in 8 Americans that need to eat. And large part of that is because grocery stores and farms don’t want to invest in donation because it’s one more step to make the effort to get this food to the people that need it. Pull yourself up by the your bootstraps corporate North America and do the right thing and feed the world like you keep claiming you want to! Be the change you pretend to agree with.
Look if you eat at any fast food place, you should not be picky about the looks of your produce. Not one fast food place has food that looks like their photographs. This is how bad this trend of making everything pristine is! Not only are we airbrushing and photoshopping our actresses and famous people, but we’re doing to our food. No wonder people think of penises when I say banana, because thanks to Fast Food restaurants airbrushing our burgers to beauty, we’re conditioned to want to fuck our food.
Now let’s move to all our favorites. The corporations. In 2016 the Canadian Broadcasting Company ran an expose on this issue. So we of course start with Walmart. Walmart is one of the largest grocers in the world, which is probably most disgusting sentence I’ve ever uttered, and I’ve read comments from porn videos aloud! Humanity really has an abusive relationship with Walmart. They have lower prices but they also have the lowest morality.
Now in this CBC report from 2016 they show you how much food goes waste behind a Canadian Walmart! And that’s in Canada! They’re being generous, so American Walmart’s probably have a full landfills worth of wasted food. I would not be surprised if most of the landfills in the world are owned by Walmart. Which makes sense since the Waltons are the Landfills of Humanity.
And this is human rights abuse. Most of Walmart’s employees get paid so bad they’re under poverty line and they have to throw away food that can feed their families and like 8 others! The only way this could be more cruel is if they made the employees throw it away in front of a Food Bank! But that would show how unaesthetically pleasing the insides of the Waltons minds really is! And this is economy run on fake niceness & blind complacency so I’m sure the Walmart consumer would be overly conflicted.
Now after CBC contacted Walmart about their food waste problem, Walmart locked up their trash bins. This should come to no shock. Once it was revealed how terribly they treat and pay their employees they caged up a livable wage too.
In the UK 85% of the produce is bought by grocery stores so they determine how much the farmers grow in order for us buy shit. And this responsibility does really fall on the grocer and the consumer! You think a farmer wants to put all that effort into bringing life into this world only to have thrown away or fed to cows or buried like the worst and most delicious treasure known to man? So it should be our responsibility be look at the quality and taste of the food instead of this shallow attitude towards our food. And that might get grocers to change their minds.
So why is it that we as consumers need to have things look so damn beautiful all the time? We value the outward appearance of things so much despite the inefficiencies it creates. Think about it…each morning we all do our best look aesthetically pleasing to tell the world we are ok. Put our 3 piece suit or clean jeans, do our makeup, precisely deshevle our hair. All of this takes so much time each morning that we wake up earlier than we need to and are too tired to do our jobs, or are chronically late for work.
But this clean, precise, beauty is everywhere. The visual of the Apple corporation is clean, square and organized. The way we view beauty is to use organization to make sense of a chaotic world. But that’s not what the world is. Instead of masking the chaos with straight crisp lines, or perfectly red apple or make up, why not use the entropy of chaos to our advantage. Use the chaos to create something truly beautiful instead of something inorganic and lifeless.
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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!”
The UK grocer, Tesco, is selling this so called ugly fruit in their stores. They call it the imperfectly perfect campaign and the wonky looking fruit is sold at about 3.25 pounds per kilogram. And a pound is a British dollar in this context. Not the unit of measurement co-opted by the fashion industry to create warped ideas of health and beauty.
There are also apps that can help you take inventory of your food waste and ensure that the excess food gets to people that need it. In the UK apps like FoodCloud and FareShare are used to connect grocery stores with charities that can get food to homeless or lower income families to ensure that world is fed. In the States, Copia is doing something similar. By connecting with a food seller or business with excess food, they send a driver to pick it up and get it to a place that needs it.
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.
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We have a huge obsession with making things larger, except people. We have a lot of fat-shaming that happens with people of larger body build. “Yo mama so fat joke” are some of the most popular jokes in every playground for the last 30 years! But obesity is a problem, especially in America, because of the culture of excess that bred into us. Eat more, do less, that’s basically America’s new slogan.
It was “All for One, One for all”, but then slavery happened and we had to change that. Then it was “We the People”, and we still had slavery so that was embarrassing. Most recently it was “If you see something, say something”, but that just led to people pointing things out. And now it’s “Eat more, do less!” Which is getting us closer to being a country run by Walmart!
Now before everyone goes off the rails on this video, I should say that there are genetic components to someone being on the larger side of life. And I went with a pun there, because I am watching my words more carefully than the ⅔ of Americans that have the medical condition of Obesity, watch what they eat. And I’m definitely watching my words more carefully anyone is watching the Capitalistic system that creates this epidemic in our society.
Obesity is defined as having an excess amount of fat in ones body. There’s a standardized amount of fat that the body needs for insulation, energy storage and shock absorbency and when people start to accumulate more and more fat, it can cause a lot of medical issues like sluggishness, cardiac arrests, diabetes, and in people around you fat shaming…which then leads to a culture of Call-Outs and Shaming the Fat Shamers…which leads to a vicious cycle of anger and no one is helping the person that is eating another fast food burger for lunch and is about to have a heart attack!
This is the other side of food waste. Like I mentioned earlier 1 in 8 Americans go hungry but about 2 in 3 Americans are obese because of poverty. With the price of Organic Food as high as it the only options most poor people have is Fast Food, which I doubt can make the claim to be healthy. If they do, it’s propaganda and we should see if they’ve been colluding with Russia to make sleepier Americans that can’t vote. And if that’s case the corporate Democrats and Republicans will really be in a pickle about who to blame about the Trump Presidency, since the pickle in a McDonald’s Burger has them in it’s teeny little pockets.
Something else most poor people can’t afford is time. Working 40 hours a week means you don’t have time to cook. According to Nutritionist, Jessica Shapiro, the Bronx is one of the unhealthiest neighborhoods in the state of New York, which is more than just New York City, because the people don’t have the access to food, but also don’t have the time to cook their food. The Bronx is one of America’s food desserts. Its ok though, instead of crack the government has decided drop Cacti on Bronx to give them all the advantages of the desert.
The organization Jessica Shapiro works for, Montifiore, is working with bodegas in the Bronx to make sure there are some healthy options available for the people. But it’s not just enough to make sure it’s healthy, but it also has to be affordable. Remember these people can barely afford time, which is something the universe gives out for free and through the invention of labor and punch cards, corporations are turning a profit on it!
Now according to Amy Shapiro, a different nutritionist from Manhattan, having frozen and canned foods is a step up from the fast food dessert choices that most low income communities have and picking a day to cook for the week can help make healthier choices. It has come to from adjusting lifestyles.
A large issue in all this is that the access, knowledge and options are limited to lower income folks. And the mere fact that we have the career choice of nutritionist means there’s an issue. An issue that people want to make healthier choices but just don’t know how and where to go to make these choices.
Education on adjusting one’s lifestyle is alleviating one of those problems. The job of Nutritionists should just be more than telling poor people to adjust their lifestyles but giving them options of a better lifestyle in their price bracket. Or they can can partner themselves with farmers that have an excess of fruits and vegetables they can’t make a profit on and give it away to these low income communities. Let’s feed our people first, instead our livestock. But it’s hard for corporations when the lines are blurred and you can’t tell the difference between cattle and humans, because it’s all consumerist livestocks.
But maybe instead of asking poor people to adjust their lifestyle, we can also start asking the culture of consumers to adjust theirs. And maybe a system hellbent on consumerist gluttony can adjust it’s lifestyle to a logic based economy. From deviating from our gluttonous vanity and using technology to get food to those who need it, while adjusting to make better, more egalitarian food choices, with the right sized portions, can lead to a world that is fed properly and create new systems that are actually progressive, instead of ones with apologies as empty as the calories they serve.
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!