The Myth of Wasting Food: Does Finishing Your Plate Really Help Starving Children?

Harper Quill

Updated Monday, March 18, 2024 at 1:05 PM CDT

The Myth of Wasting Food: Does Finishing Your Plate Really Help Starving Children?

The Flawed Argument of Finishing Your Plate

Parents often tell their children not to waste food by saying there are starving children in Africa, but this argument doesn't make much sense because getting fat doesn't actually help those in need. It is wasteful to force yourself to eat more food than you need, just as wasteful as throwing it out. If you're concerned about wasting food, you can compost it, as nature never wastes food.

The Origins of the "Eat Everything on Your Plate" Mentality

The idea of "eat everything on your plate" might have originated from the upbringing of previous generations who experienced rationing during wars and the Great Depression, where wasting food was seen as a luxury. However, this concept of finishing your plate has always been baffling to some people. Eating your food has no direct impact on starving children, and this argument has been a subject of debate.

Teaching Moderation and Self-Control

The concept of "eat what you load on your plate" is meant to teach moderation and self-control through experience. By not finishing your food regularly, you are not learning to moderate your portions. The punishment for not moderating your food intake is the feeling of being punished by having to eat everything on your plate. The hope is that by experiencing the consequences of overeating, you will become more moderate in your food choices.

Promoting Moderation through Portion Control

A better approach is to first serve yourself with too little food and then take seconds if needed, promoting moderation. Using your eyes to gauge portion sizes and eating only what you want, rather than overeating and feeling miserable, can lead to healthier eating habits. Making smaller, more frequent meals can also lead to happier and more satisfied children.

Addressing the Real Issue: Food Distribution

Food waste is a problem not because of a lack of supply, but because of difficulties in transporting it to those in need. Excess food is often wasted due to challenges in distributing it to the right places. The focus should be on learning from experience and developing moderation in eating habits, rather than using the flawed argument of finishing your plate to address the issue of food waste.

Rethinking the "Eat Everything on Your Plate" Mentality

The argument of wasting food by not eating it all might be a holdover from previous generations who experienced scarcity. However, it is important to recognize that there is enough food to feed the world, but the problem lies in transporting it to where it's needed. Instead of forcing ourselves to finish our plates, we should focus on teaching moderation, portion control, and finding effective solutions for distributing excess food to those in need.

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