I agree that wasting food is not a good idea in general, but it isn’t that simple! A lot of people have lots of trouble with control around certain foods, usually sweets and processed carbs. What a timely topic for the holidays!
Over the years, I have heard many people describe how difficult it is for them to throw food away. “Waste is shameful” . . . that is what they have learned as an all-encompassing mantra. Are you one of them? If so, you will relate to how hard it can be to treat oneself kindly when there is an over-abundance of overly tempting food around – like the holidays.
People are so very, very generous with their gifts of sweets. Home baked treats are everywhere, and it can be hard to limit them and then throw out the leftovers, but let’s take a closer, more mindful look at the dark side of never wasting a crumb.
I like to think of what the real outcome is of never wasting treats. Yes, it’s true that if we eat it all, even though we will probably feel physically and emotionally awful, we are gaining the “benefit” of the foods nutritional value. BUT, if the food is a processed junk food treat, let’s face it; the nutritional value is kinda negative, isn’t it? Unless you really need the calories – not many people do! – the outcome is negative overall.
Honestly, based on your goals to be a healthy, happy person, does never wasting make any sense? Surely there will be times when it just feels kinder to waste food than to eat it all up. No one really wants to feel awful, yet we like to have the choice to eat treats now and then, even if they have no redeeming nutritional value at all.
I have heard stories of food thrown down the garbage disposal, cake doused in salt and pepper . . . even a story of someone who threw a fast food meal out of her moving car window! The latest method I heard inspired the picture above – donuts tossed in the toilet.
Of course, if you know someone who truly would enjoy your extra treats, give them away. The only problem with that is it allows more time to change your mind. Toss quickly – in the toilet (and flush!), in the disposal (and grind away!), or buried in salt and pepper or Tabasco sauce. The decision has been made! You have shown that you can control the food. It has no power over you.
It is simply a bad idea to keep lots of unhealthy treats around if you know it’s only a matter of time before you cave. Keep what you can enjoy and reasonably control. The rest is not really pleasurable anyway. What is truly a waste is any moment not being kind to yourself. Happy, healthy holidays!