Why Shouldn’t You Waste Food?

Odille Remmert
7 min readNov 7, 2018

Do you feel a compulsion to finish what’s on your plate, even when you’re no longer hungry? Do you wince at the thought of throwing away left-over food or food that’s no longer fresh? Have you ever questioned the logic of “You shouldn’t waste food”?

“There Are People Who Don’t Have it”

I remember my sister offering to mail the food left on her plate to the “children who don’t have any food at all” when told that was the reason she should continue eating what she didn’t want or need. That genuine, sincere offer from a 6-year-old was met with a response of: “Don’t be ridiculous!” So…. Why shouldn’t you waste food? I could be missing something (and if I am, please feel free to let me know in the comments), but I haven’t been able to come up with a logical reason for why we shouldn’t waste food. Now, that may hit a nerve at first, but bear with me…

  1. Where does food go when you waste it? In other words, could you have given it to someone who doesn’t have food? If so, then, of course, do that. If you’re able to give the food you don’t want to someone who needs it, absolutely do that. But, if you can’t do that… why would you use your body as a garbage can?
  2. Where does the food come from? Presumably you’re not taking it from someone who needs it and then throwing it away? So, where did it come from? There were people who grew it; harvested; processed; packaged; sold; marketed; delivered that food. The fact that you’re throwing away what you don’t want or need does not reverse the fact that all those people made a living (and got to eat food, themselves) from that food. You do not need to eat it in order for them to have benefited from it being in front of you or in your fridge.
  3. “There may come a time when you would be grateful for that” —possibly, but how is eating it now going to save you from experiencing that lack in the future?
  4. Of course, if you don’t have enough money to buy more food, that would be a logical reason for not throwing food away that you could keep for when you need it. However, if that’s not the case, the question remains.

Why shouldn’t you waste food?

The majority of us have a powerful and automatic reaction to the “wasting” of food. And the reason for it is: We learned it from our…



Odille Remmert

Author of: "Change What Happened to You: How to Use Neuroscience to Get the Life You Want by Changing Your Negative Childhood Memories"