Volunteer Reflects on Her Own Food Waste Habits

Volunteer Bhavana Header

October 18, 2017 By: JT Pinther Category: SHH News

Bhavana, stood behind a 2,000-pound bag of onions. Working quickly, she sorted the onions into groups of 12, grabbing two at a time. She placed them into (much) smaller bags. The onions would then be distributed alongside many other types of fruits and vegetables as part of a fresh produce distribution event held at CAPI in Minneapolis.

From a young age, Bhavana’s parents told her to not waste food—people far away are hungry, and being wasteful about her food was showing a lack of sensitivity.

As Bhavana handed onions to the people who went by, it became clear that it’s not just people far away who face hunger.

“It’s hard to listen to that advice about food waste if you’ve never seen it,” Bhavana said. “We live in a privileged place—seeing it in another country doesn’t make it real.”

As a result of her produce distribution volunteer experience, Bhavana has reflected on her own habits with food. She now shops and prepares food differently, trying to conserve as much as possible.

“It’s influenced the way I’ve been buying my food,” Bhavana said. “I feel so bad when I do waste something.”

Bhavana was surprised to see some families at the distribution take more food than she thought they could use in a week. Curious, she asked how they planned to use all this fresh produce before it spoiled. Most families said it wasn’t all for them. “They were taking the food to share with others,” Bhavana said, “even though they didn’t have much to give themselves.” Nothing was wasted.

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