I recently read this interesting information about Americans:
The average U.S. household throws out nearly a quarter of the fruits and vegetables they buy. For a family of four, that adds up to about $500 each year, according to a study by the University of Arizona. (MSNBC.com 7.23.08)
Having seen first-hand some of the poverty we conveniently forget about here in the United States, and also having traveled several times to India, a country with its own share of poor people, I find myself wondering if our prosperity-driven, abundance mentality needs a good dose of "other-side-of-the-world" (or even "other-side-of-town") reality.
We have to face it: we Americans tend to be a bit wasteful. If you don't agree, read this:
Americans' total yearly waste would fill a convoy of garbage trucks long enough to wrap around the Earth six times and reach halfway to the moon. It is estimated that this year 222 million tons of waste will be generated by Americans.
I hope I am not offending you, but rather inspiring you to think beyond our neighborhoods, workplaces or churches. There are many people in the world, most of which live in developing countries, who just don't have very much. How could we cut down on what we throw away in order provide for the poor? Would the $500 that the average family throws out a year in fresh fruits and vegetables be given to those who could use it to buy their own fresh fruits and vegetables?
I remember my mother telling me as a child, "Don't waste your food. There are starving kids around the world!" Maybe it wasn't such bad advice.