The first time I saw flagrant food waste was when I was on a Caribbean cruise. I must have gained what felt like 50 lbs in just 2 weeks from eating 7 decadent meals a day – Yup. Watching the chefs carve beautiful birds out of a watermelon and huge sculptures out of ice to provide the garnish for feasts was such a thrill UNTIL I saw the tons of food they threw out to sea when nobody was looking. What was worse than just the volume of precious food being tossed out was that when we pulled up to Haiti – an impoverished country known for its massive starvation – the captain of the ship announced that we were not allowed to feed the Haitians when we toured the island! Bulls**t!
That’s when my family vacation became my mission to feed the starving. I started stockpiling bread, fruits and veggies, and anything non-perishable in my suitcases and bags in my cabin. The ship’s crew warned us that if we fed the hungry, they would mob us. I was sickened by their cavalier attitude about hungry people and this gauche solution to keeping the fat and privileged Americans from being inconvenienced by these starving people. So I came up with a plan to feed as many people as I could during the one day I spent in Haiti.
I told my family to take their tour without me so I could feed the Haitians (that wasn’t the reason I told my father). With Rob by my side, we carried bags of food into the center of town and left them on street corners where passersby could easily find them. I didn’t want to create a riot or mob scene. Then we returned to the ship and carried bags of food out for the entire day. We even went up the buffet to grab piles of cheese, meats, and whatever we could when we ran out of the stockpile in our cabin. Surprisingly, the crew didn’t say anything and didn’t try to stop us.
Food waste is rampant all over the world, and as our population increases, we will face massive starvation because our food production system is wasteful. I’ll be blogging about ways to change this paradigm we have become accustomed to so that we can feed the planet without resorting to genetically-modified foods or other unhealthy means.