Sunday, 30 November 2014

Day 257: Why it’s time to Redefine Thanksgiving


images Thanksgiving – a time of year were people and families come together to spend some quality time and be thankful for the food on the table. Ironically, it’s also the time of year were millions of pounds of food are wasted. Nothing says how thankful we are like wasting over 204 million pounds of turkey…

Let’s look at that figure a little closer: 204 million pounds of turkey is allot. It’s worth over $270 million. Imagine how many hungry families can be fed with all that wasted meat – it’s enough to give every food-insecure household in America 5kg of meat. And what about the water used to produce all that wasted turkey? A staggering 105 billion gallons. And all that meat ends up in landfills.

This is very contradictory .The tradition of thanksgiving when we look at what actually happens it seems what is being celebrated is being ungrateful and gluttony. So much food is simply being wasted. Sure, tiss’ the season of profits. The turkey factories cash it in this time of year – where the meat ends up does not matter as long as it’s being sold.

And then we have Black Friday afterwards. Nothing says thank you like reenacting the Zombie apocalypse every year after thanksgiving. I was very relieved when South Africans did not take part in these traditions, but unfortunately companies here in SA started with the Black Friday tradition as well.

efefefef What does it really mean to be thankful for the food on the table? Who is to thanks? To know the answer to that you have really look at what it took for that food to be on your table. From the turkey born to be slaughtered to the workers harvesting the veggies. The packaging and transport and water reuired. Even down to the oil that needed to be drilled to create the packing and fuel the truck and all the people involved in the process. Who at thanksgiving actually give thanks where it’s due? Who thanks the turkey?

What we should actually do is redefine thanksgiving. To stop buying and preparing too much food and only make enough. Or to take the leftovers and use it were it will not be wasted – you won’t have to look hard to find a hungry person to give the food to. And then to thank the turkey and every other part that was involved with getting that food on your plate. That would be an actual thanksgiving Dinner. And then we should do that with every meal we eat – practice real gratefulness through the understanding of how that food got in your plate.

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