We’ve all heard the very old saying: “waste not, want not”. (There’s actually a follow-on sentence to it: “The less we waste, the less we lack in the future.”) The point, obviously, is that you should use the resources you have efficiently.
It was an article about wasting food in Britain that made me think of this… and it could be applied to US just as well. It wasn’t so many years ago when most people used what they had very frugally. Home canning of fruits and vegetables used to be commonplace… so was baking your own bread and having a good-sized garden in your back yard. You still see some gardens but it’s rare to find home bakers and canners.
It’s a sign of how well we are actually doing. If times were REALLY TOUGH… as tough as some of the media would have us believe… if we were in a depression or some other very, very tight economic times, there wouldn’t be as much waste… and certainly not waste of food.
SIDEBAR: The UK article says:
“The report warns that having been broadly stable for 20 years to 2005, global food prices have risen significantly.
It blames poor harvests in some exporting countries; higher costs for energy, fertiliser and transport; farmers shifting to grow green ‘ biofuels’; and a long-term rise in demand for grain to feed a growing global population.
The finding on biofuels is embarrassing because world governments have pushed farmers to produce crops used to make the environmentally friendly fuels. But biofuels are thought to have pushed food prices up by as much as 75 per cent because they have caused shortages of wheat and maize.”
Once again, we find when government interferes with natural market forces, there are almost always unintended consequences… but let’s leave that for discussion on another day.
There’s always been waste, of course, but I don’t think as much as there is now. We have become a “throw away” society. We are too lazy to conserve. Many of us don’t even think about ways to make better use of what we have. WE have gotten into some bad habits.
I’ve always advocated conservation simply because it’s SMART. Whether times are good or bad, it just makes good common sense to use resources well. I’m not talking about HOARDING (not using) them as some would have us do with some commodities, such as oil. I just think the INTELLIGENT use of resources should be the way of the world. Sadly, too many people make such decisions based on emotion rather than rationality.