Thursday, May 02, 2013
Castoff Groceries--Yes or No?
I have a theoretical question for you.
Let’s say we have a family of, oh, maybe six children. They are busy people and they eat a lot.
But then time passes and, just hypothetically, three children move away, the mom tries to eat less sugar, one daughter goes gluten-free, and the remaining two children are picky. In theory. The dad will still snack on anything immediately visible, but nothing that requires digging or shuffling or opening of opaque containers.
So one day the mom cleans out the pantry. She finds food that is not being eaten, such as, maybe, some off-brand candy bars and Oreo-type cookies.
Now we assume she has felt and seen enough poverty that it horrifies her to throw food away.
So she thinks, who would eat this?
“Well, maybe hungry teenage boys who are less picky than mine.” [She tastes a cookie to make sure it’s not stale, since even teenage boys have their limits. It isn’t.]
We’ll assume the dad is a teacher, so the mom thinks, “Hey! He could take this stuff to school and set it on his desk and let anyone eat it that wants it!”
The dad forgets to take it, hypothetically.
So the mom asks the gluten-free daughter who is going that direction today. Would she mind?
The daughter doesn't think this is a good idea. She compares it to sending worn-out clothes to Africa.
The mom wonders, “Is she right?”
The mom also remembers, just hypothetically here, a neighbor lady named “Alice” whose children were leaving home just as this mom’s were entering the high-calorie-consumption years. Alice would call and say, “I feel so stupid even ASKING this, and ‘Larry’ thinks I’m crazy, but we have this stuff here that’s just not getting eaten and I hate to throw it away. There are two bottles of barbecue sauce—I have NO idea why we bought so many—and some potato salad and dinner rolls from the family reunion, and some cheese that I’m afraid is going to go bad if it doesn’t get eaten. I feel really dumb even offering that because it’s already opened, and it’s FINE if you say no, but . . . is there any chance…???”
And this mom would be hopping up and down with impatience through all this at the thought of FOOD of any kind arriving that she didn’t have to buy or make. She knew it would disappear almost immediately, and very quickly would assure Alice that YES that would be WONDERFUL and she did NOT have to APOLOGIZE for it, it was fine if she just ASKED.
So Alice or Larry would bring the food over [hypothetically] still apologizing as they handed it over, and it would get woofed down rapidly and the mom would be so grateful.
Which brings us back to the current dilemma. If such a scenario were to show up in your life, and you were on the receiving end, either as a high schooler or a neighbor, how would you respond??
a--EWWW. Are you KIDDING me??
b-- Only if it’s brand name and unopened and before the sell-by date.
c-- Well, maybe, if it’s from a clean home and something we’d actually eat.
d-- Sure, why not? We can always quietly toss it.
e-- YES!!! FOOD!!!! ANY FOOD!!!! THANK YOU!!!
After school today I had a few extra children in the house. I posed this question to them. The teenage girl gave a slight but polite grimace and said softly, “Wellllll, I don’t knooooow.” The 12-year-old boy responded with a simple nod and a thumbs-up.
Maybe that’s my answer right there. Maybe moms and teenage boys are united on this one.
Theoretically of course.
Quote of the Day:
“. . . That means it’s nine-sixty-fourths of an inch in diameter. Then air blows past and the light stuff blows out and then it falls down on this screen and the flax goes through and the peas go over the top. It’s basically one-twenty-second of an inch there. The third slat is rectangles, one-thirteenth of an inch by half an inch. The flats fall through and the rounds don’t. . .”
--Paul, describing to a customer how he cleans flax seed