When I was a kid, we weren’t allowed to throw food away. If we weren’t hungry, we had to eat it anyway. If we hated those mashed potatoes? We had to eat them because somewhere, children were starving.

By the time I was maybe 9 or 10, I would hand my plate to my mother and tell her to pack up my food and send it to the starving children because I wasn’t starving and forcing me to eat when I wasn’t hungry wasn’t making those starving children less hungry. What it did eventually do is what it did to millions of other kids: it made me feel guilty about not cleaning my plate every night. This produces fat kids, anorexic kids, kids who have no ability to understand that when you aren’t hungry, you don’t have to eat.

Hunger games?
A flock of baby Goldfinch in a flat feeder

At this point in my life, I can’t eat if I’m not hungry. There’s no choice in the matter for me. What’s more, nobody in this house eats huge amounts of food. I made a meatloaf tonight. One pound of ground beef, a couple of eggs and miscellaneous spices. I know how much food it was because I weighed it.

He never missed a meal

We still had several pieces left over. Garry put it in a container and put the container in the refrigerator. No matter how many times I tell him that unless he is going to eat it or knows someone who will eat it — NOT the dog because most human food makes the Duke ill — please don’t save the food. Ignore the voice of your mother in your head. I know she’s in there telling him “children are starving …” somewhere.

I pointed out that putting food in the fridge that was going to grow old and moldy wasn’t going to solve anyone’s hunger problems. I suggested, as I did with my own mother, that we pack up the leftover meatloaf and send it wherever children are currently “starving.”

It’s not that I don’t believe there are hungry people in this country and every other country. I simply don’t see how overeating here will solve their hunger.

I do my best to make as close to the exact amount of food we will consume on any given night, but sometimes, food is left over. I apologize to all the starving children throughout the world, but unless they are going to drop by for dinner, I don’t see the point in saving food no one will eat.

What do the rest of you do with leftover food? Do you eat it? Do you have a special “leftover night”? Do you save it until it turns green and then throw it away?

Garry and I eat just one main meal a day. I can’t eat more than that and neither can Garry. I have coffee and toast in the morning, and a snack at lunch. If I eat more than a snack for lunch, I’ll won’t be able to eat dinner.

All of that being said, I too can hear the echoing words: “Children are starving. Eat your potatoes!” Parents may pass out of our lives, but they continue to nag us forever.

Categories: #Food, Anecdote, Childhood, Mother and motherhood

Tags: , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. That porky kid in one of the above pics — HE would eat the last of the meat loaf. Hell, he would eat the WHOLE meat loaf.


  2. This really resonated with me, as my mother was just the same. I was probably in my fifties before I was finally able to leave food on my plate if I felt too full to eat it! We too only eat one main meal and we know how much to cook, but of it seems too much when it comes to dishing up we keep some back and freeze it for another day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Toonsarah, this is NOT another case of Garry being stubborn, ignoring his Wife.

      I just couldn’t bring myself to chucking TWO still warm and delicious slices/chunks of meatloaf into the garbage. a) Yes, Mom’s voice about “The starving Children of _____”) b) My earnest but now empty belief that the meatloaf pieces would make lunch the next day. I just don’t have those lunches anymore.

      I’ll grit my teeth and toss the left overs.

      There’s still dessert.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Can you not freeze leftovers as we do?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I do freeze it when there’s enough to make a meal. But in this case, it was just a couple of slices. There are four people to feed. Those two slices were a lot to throw away, but too little to freeze. I do freeze things like chili and pasta sauce because I doubt you can make exactly the right amount of chili or sauce. It’s always too much.

          I don’t like throwing food away either. I still hear my mother in my head, but sometimes, no matter how hard you try, there ARE leftovers. When I was just feeding me and Garry, I knew exactly how much food I needed, but with four people, it gets a bit sketchier.

          Liked by 2 people

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