August 31st, 2019| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Across the planet, over a billion tons of essential, nutritious, life-sustaining food goes to waste each year.

Eaten by pests, abandoned by farmers (who find it cheaper to do so, rather than sell it), trashed by restaurateurs, disposed by supermarkets (because “appearance quality standards” aren’t met), etc.

A third of all the food produced! Wasted between harvest and home, between farm and belly!

And this waste could double in a decade.

Or so saith the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization.

The World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research institution, is putting forth a plan to tackle the problem, which ought to be owned by everyone from growers to devourers.

Said Craig Hanson, WRI’s VP for Vice President For Food, Forest, Water & The Ocean:

The problem is dispersed across so many actors, and we all play a role. Everyone has to do their part and follow through. It’s got to be a full-chain kind of approach. Ideally within a couple of years, 90% or more of the world will live in a country with an explicit food loss waste reduction target.”

Here’s a line from a resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 2015, signed by “We, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at United Nations Headquarters”:

By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.”

Hopefully the plans will work.

But perhaps we individuals need to try to work wasting less ourselves—and this includes hoarding less—without waiting for societies and nations to do something.

While this has nothing to do with what Mark is doing with what he is saying in his Gospel, I was struck by the fact that after each of Jesus’ feeding miracles in Mark 6 and Mark 8 …

They picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish.
Mark 6:43

They picked up seven large baskets full of what was left over of the broken pieces.
Mark 8:8

In fact, John, in his account of one of these miracles, has Jesus say explicitly:

[Jesus] said to His disciples,
“Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.”
So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.
John 6:12–13

Wonder what they did with the leftovers, twelve baskets in one case, and seven in the other. In any case, it seems to have been a priority to guard against wastage.

(Of course, Jesus was also proving a point to his skeptical disciples.)

If you wanted a threatening denunciation of wastage (and selfish, unconcerned hoarding), here it is, particularly for us who live in a hemisphere of plenty …

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.
Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.
Your gold and your silver have rusted;
and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. …
Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields,
and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you;
and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
James 5:1–5

Tough words. May we heed them!


LA Times; UN General Assembly Seventieth Session Reports; FAO.org

Share Your Thoughts

Copyright © 2012 Homiletix  |  Blog theme by ThemeShift customized by Gurry Design  |  Full sitemap