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Please don’t waste food

Qiaoning Li | Thursday, December 3, 2009

 Everyday, especially in the morning, the Huddle Mart, Reckers, Irish Ink and many other shops on the University of Notre Dame’s campus throw away  large amounts of food that have gone bad. Vegetable salads, donuts, yogurts, etc. are just thrown into the trash can. Why does this happen all the time? The managers say this is a very common phenomenon. However, I don’t consider this “common.” Everyday, millions of people in our world are suffering from and dying of starvation, and we are just throwing away food and considering it “common.”

Wasting food is a sin. It is a sin that none of us should allow. When you pray, when you give thanks you should put your gratitude into real use. We college students should not just let such things happen around us. When you are studying at LaFortune, at Reckers or at Irish Ink, have you ever been aware of the huge amount of wasted food every day? Food is precious as shown by a very famous Chinese poem that every 5-year-old child knows. The poem was written by one of the greatest poets of all time, Bai Li. It says, “Farmers weeding at noon, Sweat down the field soon. Who knows food on a tray, Thanks to their toiling day?”
These shops on campus can simply give away expired food at the at end of the day. Those shops can give food to homeless people in the neighborhood or hungry students. The shops are not losing anything, for they can’t sell the leftover food. If they don’t give food away for free, they are still going to throw it away in the morning. While we thank God with gratitude for the food He gives us, we are wasting it everyday on Notre Dame’s campus. But giving food to people puts food to good use. This is what we should do. This is our responsibility.
This is very simple. Just put expired food on the counter and label it “free.” People who want it will take it. However, some people might argue “then everyone will come and get it for free.” Yes, this might happen. But this does not change the amount of food being sold. Those managers are just worrying about that people will not buy food anymore, and more food will be leftover and at last given away. In fact, people would rather buy salads for lunch around noon or buy donuts for breakfast in the morning. The amount of leftover food would not change because people are more willing to buy it during the day rather than have to wait until late at night to get it for free. This is just another way of dealing with leftover food. Nothing else will change. So why not just do everyone a favor?
Qiaoning Li
Farley Hall
Dec. 1