feedback about the feedback

Or why your mother telling you to eat all the food on your plate because there are starving children in [take your pick in the world] was right.

Okay, sort of. Not that your mother or mine (or I!) ever said that, but waste not, want not, right?

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — More than 5,000 Greeks have eaten over 2 tons of fruit and vegetables rejected by food stores in an event that highlighted the waste of food in advanced societies.

People lined up in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki Sunday to eat Briam, a medley of vegetables cooked in large casseroles, as well as crepes and fruit salads.

The event was part of a global campaign called “Feeding5000.”

The organizers said they had received the vegetables from local farmers after they had been rejected by food stores, either because of their shape or because the stores decided to cancel contracts with the farmers.

They said the produce was perfectly edible and that about 30 percent of the annual global foodstuff production gets lost or wasted.

And here is the organization that the article mentions–feedbackglobal. It certainly has significant and, at the same time, realistic goals.

Many years ago, when I was on kibbutz, one of the jobs that we rotated through was working in a factory where produce was collected and sorted. I was put on the sorting line for the best oranges. We had to pick the prettiest ones–no blemishes or misshapenness. I guess they figured that I would be able to figure this out without too much training.

These were headed to Japan, the country of wabi-sabi in objects, but perfection in food.

The okay ones went to the United States.

The not-so-nice ones that we sorted out? They stayed home. And were delicious.

I talked about the Israel equivalent, Leket Israel,  a while ago here. They’ve updated their information for this year.

Leket Israel, Israel’s National Food Bank

Serving as the country’s largest food rescue organization, Leket Israel works to alleviate the problem of nutritional insecurity amongst the growing numbers of Israel’s poor. In 2014, with the help of over 60,000 volunteers, Leket Israel is on track to rescue and distribute 30 million lbs of produce and perishable goods, 1.5 million prepared meals, and 1.1 million (8,000/school day) volunteer prepared sandwiches to underprivileged children. Food, that would have otherwise gone to waste, is redistributed to 180 nonprofit partners caring for the needy. Leket Israel offers nutrition education, capacity building, and food safety projects to further assist its partners.

Thinking about  food has encouraged me to post a few photos, all from our summer trip to Israel, with a bit of a contrast between the first two and the last one.

Super delicious salad at Yali’s in Tiveria.

We did not waste any of the food we got. Actually, we took our leftovers to go. But was that the time that it spilled in the back seat of the car? Or was that another time?

I can’t say that the kiddies didn’t waste any of the ice cream that we got them on our visit to this establishment. But that’s to be expected, right?

But that’s a problem, isn’t it?

White Bear Ice cream store at Cinema City, Jerusalem

And the contrast:

Rotting Oranges next to the Tzfat Cemetery

So we have to sort through the garbage of the news today; remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago; remembering the publication of the Satanic Verses, also 25 years ago.

What have we learned? Maybe just to pay better attention.


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