Fixing the "Don't Waste Food" Syndrome

“Don’t Let Food Go To Waste”

Do you feel an urge to eat food or else it will “go to waste”?  Do you finish off the last ½ pint of leftovers just so it wont go bad?  Do you feel ashamed or guilty when you waste food? Were you told about the starving children in Africa if you threw food out? 

An all too common trigger for people when it comes to overeating or binging is the instilled belief that you cannot waste food. This belief can be brought on by overbearing parents or authority figures with stories of The Great Depression or the starving children in Africa, and similar but very true stories of scarcity. Also, many who have personally experienced poverty develop the belief that food should not ever be thrown out. Therefore, it is easy to find yourself in a situation where somehow YOU have to eat EVERYTHING. From this day on, this mentality no longer applies to you.

What I am discussing goes beyond hunger; it is a way for you to practice “wasting” food in a healthier fashion.

Let’s look at that another way.  The food will go to waste either way; if you ate it, digested it, and pooped it out, eventually it became waste.  If you overate, and it went “straight to your waist”, it was a waste. If you forgot about it, and it got old, and you had to throw it out, it went to waste.

So which is worse in the big picture? You have to ask yourself what is more valuable to you, and what you see as more wasteful. Ask yourself how you feel when those leftovers are inside your body, or outside your body - in the garbage, where they belong. 

Are you really a garbage disposal?  No, you’re not.

And as for the starving children around the world, this is a guilt trip that really serves no purpose. There are starving people in this world, and there are many ways to help and donate if you desire, but that food on your plate or in your fridge probably isn’t going to help those children right now. And by forcing yourself to overeat because of the guilt that comes from wasting it, you are only hurting yourself in the process.

Let’s start moving towards a direction where you can start leaving, and throwing out one bite left on your plate, or some food you didn’t like, or something to that effect.  If you are used to finishing everything on your plate... maybe even licking it clean, then practice not licking your plate for a week.  Make a log where you check off your success after every meal, and you get a concrete visual on your progress.  When you have mastered a weeks worth of meals, write “VICTORY!” in giant letters across it and move on to the next week of success. Practice leaving one bite on your plate that you throw out, and the next week let’s increase it to two bites, and so on.

If you still find the idea of throwing the food out to be difficult and you live in a suburban or rural area, consider starting a compost.

All the scraps of food and leftovers you decide not to eat can eventually become the soil you grow your flowers and healthy greens from. Us city dwellers aren’t left out either; you can get a small compost keeper like the one listed below, and bring the scraps to your local food Co-Op. It’s fun, and you are contributing to your community.

This is for you, make this fit your life and where you are now. Make It Work For You, and become


Don't waste your time thinking about your failures. You can use the same time for becoming more successful.
-Raj Sharma