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Living Less Unsustainably: Clean Plate Club

I have a triple win situation for you. The winners are the planet, your pocketbook, and your dishwasher. The proposition: finish your food - all of it. 

Wasting food wastes water, fertilizer, energy, and time. Rather than give you startling statistics, let's focus on how to waste less. Some food waste is caused by being too careful. Expiration dates, and sell-by dates on food have been changed to best- if-used-by dates.  Is it moldy? Does it smell off, taste bad, feel weird? Then don't eat it.  Sour milk makes great pancakes. Cut the spot of mold off the cheese. Eat the rest.

Some waste happens when food spoils after preparation. Eat your leftovers. If you can't eat them in a few days, put them in the freezer until you can. Same with restaurant doggie bags. Eat the leftovers before cooking more.

But most wasted food is put on a plate, some is consumed, then the rest is thrown out when the dishes are taken off the table. Take what you want. Eat it. Take more if you are still hungry.

When travelling in Bulgaria, I was pleased to find that a whole country uses a piece of bread to wipe the plate clean at the end of a meal. Your dishwasher will hardly have to work to finish the job.

There are cultures that have you leave food on the plate to show your host you are satisfied. But a forgotten culture is re-emerging- The Clean Plate Club. They even have a catchy jingle:

“Join the clean plate club.

All you do is finish your grub.

What a difference you can make

When you eat every speck on your plate.

Hey- Join... the clean plate club!”

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