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Dilemmas of Every Household: Leftover Food

Updated on March 21, 2012

Wow, such a dilemma. Think of all the food that is tossed out that is actually edible by those starving. Yet, every household in America, the World, faces the leftover food issue of what to do with it. Even when there is a delicious meal that is leftover, after eating it for a few days in a row, you are sick of it. Then, if you have a meal you do not really like, it will just sit in the fridge and waste until you MUST toss it out. If you have kids or teens, odds are you will have snarky looking faces when you announce, "Leftovers for dinner!", especially when they hate it.

How much does the typical American family waste and toss out? The average family spends $500-2000 a year on food they never eat, I can attest to that just from my home. The wasted food weighs 33 million tons all ending in landfill. Of the food wasted, 25% are veggies, 15% are fruits, 13% milk products and 14% grains.

Think of the starving people in Africa and elsewhere, where they are happy with a bowl of cereal. But leftovers do require an army of containers, so be sure you have space and some sort of order, otherwise, you end up with a cabinet full of containers that becomes an abyss to hell, when searching for the one with the right top! UGH!

Now, if your leftovers are left too long, say a week at the extreme, you have no choice but to toss it out. Even leftover food has endurance limits. But leftovers can also be a dinner savoir when you arrive home beat and the last thing you want to do is effing cook. Selection may be limited and you might have nasty looking faces from kids, but, at least you avoided dreaded dinner cooking.

Some hate leftovers so much, they would rather eat peanut butter or something they hate less. But some of the world's hunger problems could be resolved if there was a way to give the leftovers to the starving, but, their response might be the same as your kids or others, snarky.


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    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 

      6 years ago from Olney

      I agree when you think of all the starving kids in the world and we in the west throw leftovers away it's disgusting. Nice hub.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      It's truly a waste to simply throw leftovers. recycling leftovers is a good way to redeem yourself after miscalculating the amount of food you cooked. :)

    • giocatore profile image

      Jim Dorsch 

      6 years ago from Alexandria, VA

      As I noted in a hub about the book "Mindless Eating", one way to control your weight is to cook the amount needed for a meal. If you have leftovers, you cooked too much food. Of course, if a family doesn't have weight problems, then leftovers might be useful, as you say. However, if a person did have that issue, and cooked less food, then one could help control one's weight, and could also take some of the money saved and donate it to an organization that helps to feed the hungry. Then there's no issue of how to send food.


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