christine~ (eppylover) wrote,

How many hungry orphans in Africa can you feed with a chocolate jesus?

One of the old family stories that I've heard all my life: back in the 50's when I was around 3 or 4 years old, ma tried to get me to eat my dinner. She said, "But little kids like you are starving to death overseas!" She says I responded, "Pack it up and send it to them, then!"

She never used that line on us again.

What I really was getting at with the "feeding the starving African orphans," was that not wasting food in this country is not going to make one bit of difference there or anywhere else. Trashing food in this country means nothing. Have you ever worked in a restaurant, or a warehouse supplying convenience stores?

More perfectly lovely edibles are destroyed every minute in this country than are eaten, for many reasons.

There are huge bins of totally good and edible products, including the before-mentioned chocolate and cheese used as art supplies, going down into the incinerator each month because they're either damaged or too close to the expiration date to sell to stores. Huge, huge bins.

The reason socialism, for all its noble virtues, could never work is because human beings, by their very nature, are 50% dishonest.

The company I worked for tried a couple of times over the years to give away product set for disposal to the employees to do with as they wish, pass on to other people, etc. ~ but the more dishonest employees purposely held back mass quantities of product, and only packed and passed on the newer products so that they could eventually take the hidden stuff home. And believe me, that place is so big there is no way it could be policed. Even selling the almost-expired items at a gross discount, which they do now to a very small degree (takes too much time, energy and money to keep bookwork up on that) doesn't work as well as it would work if ALL the employees were totally honest. Which is never true anywhere.

You can't legislate honesty.

Then they tried to get an ongoing permanent thing going with local charities and food banks whereby all the product that would otherwise be trashed would be passed on. The government interfered in that one, after someone apparently complained that there was something wrong with an item. You see, unless every bit of product is 100% clean, no mold or anything, the whole truckload must be trashed. The company did NOT have employees who were willing to donate time for free, and they are extremely security-conscious (they deal in cigarettes, for one thing) so they cannot let unauthorized people on the premises anyway. The moment I resigned, even I was barred from passing the guard. So they have periodic food bank things, but can't do it on a very large scale because it would cut into not only profits, but everything else.

Besides all that, they have tried various other methods of non-waste, but the way the American economy and health laws have been set up from the very bottom up, it is simply not feasible. Restaurants and other food-handling businesses would go bankrupt. You can't even feed homeless people after hours with the leftovers in restaurants because it's against health laws, and dishonest people have found ways to profit from it.

If humans were all honest, we'd have no problem. But humans, by their very nature, are, I believe, 50% dishonest. Nature balances itself in every way, and that's just one of them.

Strangely, I'm such a waste-phobic myself at home, though. Every bit must be used, unless it has definitely gone bad... in which case I feel very guilty for letting it get that way.

In contrast, my sister is known for cooking mass quantities and then throwing away most of what wasn't eaten. I have been known to say to her many times: Do you have any food you're gonna throw away? And she acts like I'm being a beggar. Jeeeez.

But, back to the artist, and in light of everything I've said above ~~ what difference does it make if he wastes cheese, or chocolate, or whatever ~~ when the majority of the whole country's food is going into the incinerator anyway?

Hmmm... maybe that's one of the points he wants us to figure out and ponder by using food for his works. There are a lot of interpretations you can make, but you gotta admit, even if you don't like him, he still makes you think.

I'm far from being a fan of this guy, but having been exposed to him now ~~ personally, I think he's got more on the ball with his "art" than Yoko ever did. And yes, he is extremely talented in his realism.

Apparently using his talent in a conventional manner gets him nowhere.
Gotta shake up people to get heard.


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