My Body, My Temple

My Body, My Temple

I had an interesting—well, maybe I should call it an unusual experience last Friday when I visited my doctor at our local medical clinic. Now, remember, I said Friday! The waiting room was nearly empty of patients! By itself, the near-empty clinic wouldn’t be so unusual, except that, on the other hand, Mondays the clinic attendance is just the opposite: it’s packed with patients waiting to see their doctor. This is not an isolated incident, either: it happens almost every weekend! Now, consider that the rest of the week attendance at our clinic is quite normal, so why is the clinic near-empty on Fridays? Could it be that more people get sick on Monday than they do on Friday? Mph! (shrug) Maybe to a small degree—could be an activity change on the weekend, compared to the week days that may influence how sick or healthy a person is on Monday, but surely not to this degree … and so common!

That got me thinking. Could it be that some people, who normally do get sick on Friday, hold off seeing the doctor until Monday so as not to take a chance on ruining their weekend? If that should be the case, how sick are they in the first place? Another question: if our health system would cost us every time we went to see a doctor, how many visits would we skip?

I suspect that far too many of us take advantage of the “free” part of our health care, and forget, or just don’t care, that many of these less serious health problems just clog up our health services and hinder access to patients with more serious health issues.

I think we fail to understand that our so-called “free” health care system isn’t all that free. It may be free at the moment, for the patient seeking help in the doctor’s office, but, in reality, the taxpayer—that includes you—end up footing that bill. An article in the National Post states, “The Canadian Institute for Health Information believes Canada spent approximately $228 billion on health care in 2016. That’s 11.1 percent of Canada’s entire GDP and $6,299 for every Canadian resident.”[i] You see, our health care is not free! Just think of all the consumer goods and services that that money could be better spent on it were not earmarked for taxes.

I sometimes feel that some public attitude seems to be, who cares? It’s not my responsibilityI just want whatever is free. But, now that I have that issue off my mind, I think that this problem of social unconcern for how much we cost the medical system has a deeper root: lack of concern for ourselves! And this should be a bigger worry for us.

Unless you’re one of those people who believe our origin was in sea slime, that we live for an x-number of years, then return to the earth to become worm food, you have to accept that we are very much a part of eternity, and our bodies were “given” to us for a reason: we are here for a reason other than material self-gratification.

Everyone has serious moments in their life and has asked, “who am I?” and why am I here?” And if you are at all serious about what happens in your life, decency and morals have to be part of that concern. Without standards of responsibleness to both ourselves and to society, how long would we exist? And, even more important, what do we owe to ourselves to take care of our bodies? The Buddha is reported to have said, “Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.[ii] Just like any craftsman knows, upon graduation from Tech (born into this world from a previous existence), he’s given a precious tool box (body) and commanded to “Go boldly forth” and become a god unto his own right.

Yes, by all means, listen to the advice of others—especially experts in their field—but the final decision must by yours!

Your self-consciousness is you: it is eternal, and it’s that which evolves. Your body is your tool box and the tools contained within your tool box are your five senses.

Yes, there is abundant evidence out there that, in the final analysis, the welfare of your body—this would include your health and other material goods—and morally—is your responsibility. Your opinion or conclusions may differ from that of the advice you’ve been given by others, but remember, in the final analysis, place your opinion above others, and act upon your opinion!

Of course, the big kicker here, that many fail accepting responsibility for, is, if it turns out to be an opinion in error, then be mature enough to accept the lesson that experience has taught you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is yours!

A final addendum: if there is such a thing as a hell in the ‘After-life”—or even in one’s latter part of this life—it will be that dreadful self-judging moment when we realize what we could have done, and been, while on earth, but stubbornly refused the challenge a loving God offered!

The Power of One

I’ll pick on politics as a starter to my column to help me explain my point of argument, because politics is one of my favorite subjects to talk about—although the main message here, as you will see, can apply equally well to any situation.

As long as we continue to believe that we are only one in person and essence, and powerless in a world where money, armies and entrenched customs dominate, we can be assured of being ruled—not governed—ruled—by dictators, be they politicians or dominating company CEOs.

Can we ever free ourselves from this subjugated, submissiveness to an authority role we seem doomed to play a ll our life?

All holy scriptures, both ancient and present-day, proclaim that God made us in His image: gods, He made us—so, at the very least, we should consider ourselves to be princes and princesses in a limitless universe. The question, now, is, if we have such a royal heritage, what happened that caused us to lose our ability to rule ourselves?

Well, the reasons for giving up our power of free will and give domination of ourselves to others can be numerous. Mental weakness and general laziness come to mind as two reasons. But in spite of this quite common fault, society has produced many great minds and achievers that have truly reflected God’s desire for the lofty aspirations for His offspring. Terry Fox, Viola Desmond and Gord Downie are three Canadian heroes that immediately come to mind, and if we turn our search for heroes internationally, the list becomes almost endless. So, we see, it’s not God’s fault that we are weak: He created us as royal citizens of the universe, remember? His plan for us as a loving Father is to see us aspire to—and even surpass—His own lofty heights of creative achievement! So, what went wrong?

Going back to our heroes, the idea of thinking “I’m only one person,” so “what can I do?” isn’t even a consideration in their mind which is obvious by their action and achievements! These heroes know they’ve been created free and are in bondage to no one! So, if they did great things, why can’t the rest of us do likewise?

Free-spirited people are still in the minority. Why do we, the majority, still feel powerless and consider ourselves a failure—or at best, not as good as our successful associates? The reasons are legion: probably as many reasons as there are individuals who feel that they are inferior. Mac Davidson, former therapist, consultant and entrepreneur, may have at least one answer when he stated in Quora: “The fear of making mistakes.” In other words, we hesitate because we are afraid … afraid of what? We’re afraid of making a fool of ourselves in front of others, afraid of people looking down on us if we make a mistake, feeling inferior to associates … where do we pick up such negative ideas? We’re certainly not born with the idea of failure or fear. Watch a child at play and the last thing a child is, is afraid to act out his emotion or desire.

Who knows where its origin? Maybe it began in our primitive days when we were cave dwellers and had to fear the ever-present hungry carnivore who stalked us in order to survive. Since then, we’ve customized our fear to fit our present-day environment, but still kept one basic survival skill: observing and adopting ideas from others in our group.

 The nice thing is, once we become aware of our fears, we can—if we wish to—change. But change is not easy. We’re creatures of habit. The road out of failure can be filled with frustration and failure itself, so here are a few “helps” to help you on your way:

 One very good start is to join a yoga meditation club. You’ll get lots of support from other members there, and positive support is something you’ll need to help cancel out the life-long negative thoughts engrained in us.

Next, copy down some positive quotes and pin them on your bathroom mirror where you’ll see and reflect on them every time you visit the bathroom. Here are a few for starters:

“Your best teacher is your last mistake.”

“The only man who never made a mistake is the man who never did anything.”

“Mistakes help build your knowledge base.”

“Mistakes are proof that you’re trying.”

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

Meditating on such quotes can strengthen our resolve to overcome our weaknesses by learning that mistakes can actually be your friend and teacher.

One final quote to help you. You may have heard this one before—most successful people have. Just make sure to apply it with determination: Aim for the stars! You may only reach the moon on your first try, but that’s better than where you were. And, once you reach the moon, it will be that much easier to reach the stars. Just don’t give up!

Promote yourself from “Can’t Do,” to “Can Do,” and from that direction, look up … way up!  You’re now on your road to boldly go where, before, as a lesser god you feared to tread!

I Speak in Favour of Christianity

I read a lot about how it is a human RIGHT to have — say — a good education system, good health system, clean drinking water — plus a plethora of other “human rights.”

I disagree with all of that! We have NO human rights!! God gave us life and provided a beautiful planet for us to grow and mature on — it’s our school, if you wish, until such time as we can graduate from earth and re-join Him in the Spirit World — but all God did was give us life and a school in which we can grow, spiritually. No more!

On the other hand, it is our privilege (which, sometimes I think not all of us honestly deserve) to enjoy the invaluable access that we have to such creations as health care, education, clean water, etc. But, make note, and I repeat from my first statement, God didn’t provide these institutes for us: He just gave us life and an indescribably beautiful “school” to spend a few short years in, which, as a side note, we are doing a remarkably good job of ruining, but these so-called “rights” that we speak of, WE — yes, we, humans created for ourselves by learning to utilize the wonderful tools that Father so wisely included in the “school!” For the moment, I’ll ignore all the negative talk about the bad things Christianity is mostly noted for (that reminds me too much of listening to the evening news: all negative) and remind our readers of Christianity’s positive side, like the compassionate actions of many Christians, who genuinely took upon themselves to implement, practice and live Jesus’ Gospel. And was, and is these millions of good Christians that we can largely thank for providing a civilized, high standard of living that we enjoy today.

No, (and here again, I’ll dare to disagree with the “Christian-haters), nor was it the government who gave us these so-called ” human rights.” Good government only does the will of the people. It is the majority (or, at least the ‘squeaky wheels) of society that moves government to action. If the government did any good for the common man it was because they were pushed by a majority opinion to do so.

Yes, agnostics and atheists did, and still do have an influence on what happens in our society, and even though they reject the mantle of being “Christian,” in their actions, in essence, they do follow Jesus’ principles: to love God (or, in their case, Creation) and to love our fellow man as we love ourselves. And, of course, in the end, that’s what counts!

However, agnostics and atheists, as I already mentioned, did have a positive effect on society, but probably because of their lesser numbers, and because they weren’t as well organized as Christianity came in a distant second. Thus, when it comes to the final vote, it is ORGANIZATIONS that really get things done! And who else, but Christianity, was better organized than they were. So, the next time you pass a building that has a beautiful, domed steeple on it, thank it, and its true Christian members — not your government, not even God, for your human “rights.”

All things being considered, maybe we humans aren’t so bad a creation after all, if only we’ll stop taking the negative, evening news for our reality, and pay more attention to the tons and tons of good things we humans are doing in this “school” of ours!

Can Do

“You may not be the CEO of a large company, but you are the CEO of your life.” — Jon Taffer

It’s not just a recent thought with me, but ever since I was adult enough to really take note that society consisted of rich and poor people and, of course, a wide range of what one would call rich or poor in between.

Why were some guys forever unemployed while others rarely had the need to visit an employment office? And, of course, the in-between that I mentioned above. Some become great successes at their jobs, while others barely managed to keep their bills paid.

All of us can point to someone in our life and say, “Yes, I know him. We’re friends. He’s rich,” you emphasis. You secretly envy him and wish that you were as successful as he is.

So, why aren’t you as successful?

That question immediately brings up reasons for failure or success. Failure reasons might include, “I never had the opportunity to be a success like my brother had!”

“He was the oldest in the family, and my parents doted more on him than on me!”

“It’s easier for men to get ahead in the business world than for a woman!”

“I’m not as brainy as he is!”

… ad nauseum.

You’ll notice that the blame for failure is, in all cases, shifted away from oneself. It’s not your fault that you’re a failure!

O.k., so those were the reasons (excuses?) for failure. My next question obviously follows, “if your brother is more successful than you, why? What circumstances/reasons/excuses does your brother blame … scratch that – what circumstances does your brother contribute to his success?

Notice the difference here? The successful person analysis his situation and accepts his circumstances and works with what he’s got, while the person who considers himself a failure blames his failure on a bad roll of dice he got out of life. Again, it’s not his fault he’s a failure!

I’m sure that you’re familiar with the saying, “If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”

You say, you don’t know how to make lemonade, learn how! And you’ll be almost guaranteed to be as successful as your brother.

A Sunday Chat with Myself—”I feel Deeply Offended!”

“People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high; being self-righteous and morally superior feels good.” —Mark Manson

This morning, my mind is on the recent kerfuffle over the removal of the statue of John A. Macdonald from several locations throughout the country. John A. was one of our Founding Fathers, and Canada’s first Prime Minister, spanning a political career from 1867 to 1873, and again from 1878 to 1891.

Macdonald was a leading figure in the discussions that lead up to the creation of the British North American Act, resulting in Canada becoming a nation on 1 July, 1867.

To say that our first Prime Minister was A Character, would be to oversimplify his nature! According to the National Post, when Macdonald dispatched troops, in 1869, to put down the Louis Riel Red River Rebellion, his son, Hugh John, “deliberately defied his father’s wishes to stick to his law studies and instead joined the militias heading west.”

To say that our First Prime Minister loved to occasionally imbibe would also be describing his drinking habits mildly. John A. was a lush! His Kingston address that once housed his law office, is now a “traditional Scottish Pub,” and his Glasgow birthplace is also now a bar! When he was supposed to be protecting Canada from marauding Irish armies, he couldn’t be reached because he “was on a bender.”

Macdonald was an enigma! While he presided over mass die-offs of Plains First Nations, he also proposed giving indigenous people the right to vote, and he really, really wanted to see Louis Riel dead!

In 1880, Macdonald proposed extending the right for women to vote, while at the same time, he “fervently warned” against Chinese immigrants upsetting the Canada’s “Aryan” character, and for years, along with several other Prime Ministers, extorted a head tax on Chinese immigrants.

It’s easy to fill up several pages cataloguing Macdonald’s escapades while he was in government, because he really was one of Canada’s most unique and colorful characters—but then, so were many other political persons during his time. For example, according to the National Post, “It’s ridiculous to judge figures from the past by beliefs of the present. Thomas Jefferson, who declared that “all men were created equal” owned hundreds of slaves and repeatedly impregnated his favourite one. Winston Churchill held a dim view of [East] Indians in general, and Mahatma Gandhi in particular, other than as handy fodder when needed for warfare. Blacks needed the civil rights movement in the 1960s because, 100 years after the Civil war, it was considered perfectly acceptable to practice discrimination in the U.S., and to a lesser extent in Canada.”

And this brings me to my main point of argument. Should we whitewash our history and blatantly discard any part of it that we find offensive? What would our history look like if we just erased all offensive aspects of our history?

It is true, history books are written by the victors in all situations, but it’s also true that we are becoming a more compassionate and empathic nation than our forefathers were, and we are paying greater attention to the way we mistreated the minority of Canadians in our past.

“Tough times don’t define you, they refine you. ‪” —Carlos A. Rodriguez

I grew up in a rural area in Saskatchewan, quite near the Cree Indian File Hills reserve. One of my first, and best friends in my youth was Elmer Ross. In those days, it was quite normal for white people—and even many Indians—to refer to Elmer as an illegitimate Half Breed—a Metis, born of an Indian mother and a French-Canadian father. However, his birth status didn’t matter much to either of us because, I, again, was Canadian born to German immigrants. It was the war years: World War II was in full swing and our family was considered outcasts—Bloody Germans—Hitler supporters— who were responsible for all the war and hatred in the world.

Because we were so discriminated against, Elmer and I had much in common, and it was that, which we shared in common, that made us the best of friends.

When I see how “politically correct” our politicians are perverting Canadian history, I often have to wonder: how should I write my own life’s journal, to be politically correct?

Should I write, “I was born on a farm in Central Saskatchewan?” But, I could take that as offensive. To say that I have been born on a farm denotes I was not afforded the rights of having experienced the amenities that a large city offers. Should I be deeply offended that I wasn’t born in a city?

On the other hand, if I simply say that I was born in Saskatchewan, I might also have a legitimate complaint that I was denied the privilege of having experienced life in other provinces: I was robbed of having experienced life in the mountains, or life in more densely populated areas, or to have experienced what it was like to live near a large lake, like Lake Ontario.

So, to be politically correct, the best that I can do is say, “I was born!” That should be quite a neutral statement!

Next, I would write in my life’s journal, “I went to school.” Well, I can’t see anything politically incorrect here, so we can leave that sentence stand, other than I must investigate any possible chance that I might have attended one of John A. Macdonald’s Indian Schools, which could give me great cause for concern … except, truth be told, I went to a legitimate, all-white, Christian school—as did my good friend, Elmer Ross— so I can’t be “deeply offended” there! I went to school: a politically correct statement!

I could go on and on about factors in my life that I could list as offending me, including times in my youth when the community branded our family as hated “Nazis” because of my parent’s birth origin, but really, all of those rich life’s moments—the good, the bad, the ugly—offered me a chance to grow and develop my character. I am quite happy with the way my life turned out …

… except for the fact that I am deeply offended that Canadian society, in our weak-kneed drive to be fair to all, should allow our “politically correct” politicians to so screw up our history to the point where we no longer know what, or who, we are as a country!

That deeply offends me!

Me and Mortimer—Chapter Eleven: “Headaches and Cure”

“Oh … please! Do me a favor and don’t make so much noise making your morning coffee?”

That was Mortimer moaning, sitting in his chair and cradlin’ his head in his arms and resting it on his work bench. He came to work this morning suffering from a headache. I was gonna tease him by sayin’, ‘I thought vegetarians don’t get headaches’, but I sort of felt sorry for the guy. I know how headaches can hurt. I’ve often get them a few Sunday mornings after comin’ home late from Saturday night’s Happy Hour at the Tartans and Cream pub.

“Have you taken any painkillers for it?” I asked, instead. “I think there’s some Tylenol left in our First Aid Kit—unless I already used them all.”

“No—Maureen made me a lemon and ginger tea before I left for work. I think I’ve just got an upset stomach and should be feeling better in a while. Just—uh—just don’t make any noise right now, o.k.?” Mort continued speaking softly so as not to make his headache worse. He, being so still, reminded me of a rabbit that’s frozen scared-stiff trying to hide itself from a fox that’s sniffing a rabbit-breakfast nearby … but, I shouldn’t think that. Poor guy’s sufferin’ enough!

“Why’d you come to work with a headache in the first place?” I asked. “You haven’t taken a sick leave this year yet, so you sure got lots of ‘em coming.”

It sure amazes me to try and understand why people like Mortimer don’t take their full entitlement of sick leave, irrigardless of whether they’s sick or not! First thing I did when I started work here was find out how much sick leave I had coming, and I’ve already taken my full entitlement. Ya gotta grab your rights while the grabbin’s good, I always sez!

Mort stirred just a little bit. “I don’t feel like talking right now. Why don’t you just … just go and have your coffee and read your paper?”

Well! If you don’t wanna talk to me, see if I care! So I turns away from Mort and I make my coffee and move over to my desk to read the morning paper, but I can’t help thinkin’ about Mort. “I hear coffee’s supposed to be good for headaches,” I tell him. “That’s what I always drink on Sunday morning after a night at the Tartans and Cream.”

“I don’t drink coffee. I don’t like it!” Mortimer groans.

“What gave you your headache anyway?” I asks.

Mort never even answered. He just continued sittin’ there, restin’ his head in his arms on the bench. I guess he really meant it when he said he didn’t want to talk any more.

Sheesh!

I opens my morning paper and reads on the front page that there was another fight at the Tartans and Cream last Saturday, and I missed the event! The reason I missed it is ‘cause my wife wanted me to take her and the kids to the city to do some shopping for shoes. I swear, them kids can wear out shoes faster than a cop can write out a speeding ticket while you’re on your way to the mall!

Anyway, why I sez I wished I hadn’t of missed the event at the Tartans and Cream is that Baby Lou—his real name is Andy Louise, but he got that name, Baby Lou, ‘cause he has sort of, a babyface, but has a couple knife scars across his cheek from previous fights and that makes him look mean.

Anyway, he was again the main attraction at the fight on Saturday. Baby Lou don’t take no guff from nobody, so most of the guys at the Tartans and Cream stays clear of him, but when Eddie Baxter accidently spilt Baby Lou’s beer by bumping it with his elbow, Baby Lou exploded! He was about ready to send Eddie to the hospital, he got so mad, ‘xcept a couple other guys at the bar jumped on Baby Lou and held him down so Eddie could escape from the bar. That’s when the cops was called and, of course, the local newspaper took pictures of everything.

Don’t know why the newspaper has to stick its nose into our fun time at the Tartans and Cream every time there’s a fight there. All that publicity again aroused that crazy women’s league that’s been demonstrating to close down our source of superior manly entertainment, just like they succeeded in closing down the Crown and Star earlier this year.

I almost feels like writing to the editor of the paper and telling him that I disagrees with that group of silly women, and that they should just mind their own business! Them women’s gotta be told to let us men have our fun! If you thinks we’s settin’ a bad example to the youth of our town, then keep your kids away from us! We has rights to, you know!

Trouble is, I don’t have a pen or paper on me right now, otherwise, I’m so mad, I think I would write to the editor —

Oh, oh! I see Mortimer’s stirring. “Have a good nap?” I inquires.

Mortimer stretches and yawns, rubs his eyes and turns to me. “Yes,” he sez. “I feel much better now. Maureen’s lemon and ginger tea really helped settle my stomach,” he gets up and heads for the door. “I think I’ll step outside for a minute and take some deep breaths. That should clear the remaining cobwebs from my head.”

About ten minutes later Mort returns, looking like someone’s just injected him with a energy hormone. I just don’t understand that guy. How’s he do it?

Sheesh! I wish I could get rid of my Sunday mornin’ headaches that fast! It usually takes three cups of coffee and several aspirin, and my head’s still fuzzy for the rest of the morning … but I will say—and I’m not afraid to tell Mort, that there ain’t no way I’ll ever drink that lemon and ginger stuff! That ain’t no man’s drink, and I’m not about to pollute my body with that feminine vegetarian stuff!

Mort begins checking around his area of the shed as if he’s lookin’ for something. “Lost something?” I inquires.

“Yeah … ” he’s still looking, confused, and searching in more detail. “Last week, after I filled the lawn mower with gas, I brought the can with the remaining gas back and set it on my bench, right there.” He points to a spot in the corner, close to the wall. “Have you seen it?”

“Seen what?”

“The gas can! I had some gas left over after filling the lawn mower, so I set the can over there.” He again points to that spot in the corner.

“Was it a red can and had the words, ‘GAS,’ painted on it?”

“Yes! Have you seen it?” Mort was startin’ to get a bit irritated. I don’t know why. I was politely answering his questions.

“Yeah,” I told him. “My car ran out of gas last Friday, so I took it and put the gas into my car—”

You stole company gas?” Mort looks at me like I’m some kinda freak or something.

“I didn’t steal it. I borrowed the gas. My wife gets paid tomorrow, so I’ll have some money, so I’ll fill the can and bring it back to you.”

Mort just stands there and stares. His face is turning red and the two veins on the side of his neck is starting to pulse like they need more oxygen—or something. His mouth opens, and he wants to speak, but the right words just don’t come to him. Finally, he closes his mouth, his shoulders droop, and he just turns and walks out.

“If the boss calls, tell him I’ve gone home for the day. I have a headache!” He sez over his shoulder before leaving.

“You’re headache’s back?” I inquire. “Want some aspirin?”

He slams the door and is gone.

Sheesh! That guy can sure get upset over nothing!

Double Sheesh! Now my coffee’s gone cold, and there’s nothing worth reading in the paper this morning … I look around … and the office boy didn’t even bring me any files this morning to put away! What am I gonna do?

… Guess I’ll just have to make another pot of coffee and make it last the day.

A Sunday Chat with Myself—”Food Waste”

Love and Food are meant for sharing, not for wasting

I’m sorry, but this morning my column is going to be mostly a rant, and it’s going to be about food waste, because I think food waste is getting completely out of control, and what I glean from statistics, we—yes, including myself—aren’t doing much to stop it, and unless we change our habits, we’re going to ruin our beautiful planet—or, should I be more accurate and say our planet is going to destroy us!

That statement should come as no surprise, because Gaia—Mother Earth, has nearly wiped us off her face on several occasions during our short while on earth, and I would guess for similar reasons that we again face near extinction.

I recently bought a bundle of those juice-sweet, Mandarin-like oranges that are shipped in from Peru. Some of them still had green spots on the skin and still tasted a little bitter, so I left them in the fridge for a week to ‘ripen.’ However, rather than ripen, I found that they started to rot! So, other than possibly storing them wrong, not in a non-professional way like they would be in warehouses, what else went wrong?

I’m too disgusted to dig into the mechanics of how these oranges came from Peru and ended up in our grocery store, but my guess is, they were picked green in Peru, then put on ships that were Canada-bound, stored in warehouses and there ‘force-ripened’ before being shipped to grocery stores. As a result, they did turn ‘orange,’ like regular oranges do, but never had the opportunity to naturally ripen on the vine as fruit is meant to do, to naturally develop their sugars and nutrients that these oranges are famous for.

The result? Besides beginning to rot, they were too bitter and too ‘leathery’ to eat, so they had to be thrown out!

Wasted!

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” —Robert Swan

Then, I read on the FastCompany web site that, “nearly 870 million people in the world are undernourished, but at the same time, approximately one-third of the global food total supply ends up spoiled, thrown out [like I had to do with the oranges], or wasted. That’s about 1.6 billion tons of edible material overall, and projected to reach 2.1 billon tons by 2030.”

Then, a new report by the Boston Consulting Group has “quantified the problem in terms of cold hard cash: The world’s food loss and waste is projected to be about $1.2 trillion per year by 2030.

After reading these reports, I no longer have to wonder why my food bill is so high and why we can’t feed the world, resulting in people actually starving to death! The high cost of food, including the orchestrated scarcity of the food problem doesn’t lie with the producer, nor the consumer, but gets discretely and deliberately hidden within our habits of how we handle food.

I know, there are analysts who prefer more socially acceptable words like, unaware, mismanagement and demand in their reports, but when you blow all the dust off the deliberate cover-ups—the socially acceptable phrases— you end up with the real reason: greed and sloth on the marketing and distribution of food!!

Greed plays a factor in this. The greedy person is usually quite good at deflecting his condition, and make it sound like we should actually envy him. Greed is good for the economy!  Greed wallows in its own luxuries, offering up such comforting, socially acceptable words and phrases like, envy, needed, desirable, to lull us into believing “all is well with the world, just go and tend to your own little backyard incidents, and never mind me.”

And did I mention that greed—accumulation of excessive goods and wealth—is not synonymous with happiness? There’s research out there (again, I just don’t feel like searching for links and posting them here right now) that shows a good number of rich folks live quite a frustrated life, and in fear of losing the wealth that they have accumulated. They have to build security walls around their homes to protect them from the commoners!

That’s not happiness!

“Impossible isn’t something that can’t be done. It’s just something that hasn’t been done before.”

Large factory farms, both in the meat, dairy, egg, fruit and vegetable and grain industries, are the biggest contributors to food waste. They are forever getting larger, inventing new ways to produce more food, at a cheaper cost to them—causing ever more food waste—but there is little or no indication that their penchant for producing ever-more food is actually solving the scarcity of food that could be shipment to underdeveloped areas, nor any real savings for the consumer. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all this extra food produced by these mega factory farms is actually bringing cheaper food to your table. If it were truly so, then there would be no starving people in the world today! Besides, when we do find actual instances of “cheaper” food, it is also of a lower quality than it used to be a generation ago, so you are not getting a good bang for your buck! My oranges that I mentioned at the beginning of this rant, are a good example of what I mean.

On the plus side of managing our food bill and what we “commoners” can do about it. The David Suzuki Foundation has some excellent ways in which we, as individuals can not only save on our own grocery bill, and at the same time, reduce waste, world-wide.

  • Meal planning. My wife has a monthly meal planner that she consults before doing any grocery shopping. It’s helped to reduce buying stuff she hadn’t planned on using in making meals, thus there’s little left over that could go to waste.
  • Make lots of soup. When food gets close to the expiry date, making soup out of it is an excellent and nutritious way to use up those older vegetables.
  • Leftover food does not have to be thrown out. Place the leftovers in freezer bags and use them at a later date.
  • Create an Eat-Me-First bin in your refrigerator. In that way, it is less likely that you will ever have spoilt food to consider in your meal planning.

With a bit of serious planning, one can easily find any number of ways to cut back on food waste—and need I mention our misuse of plastic bags? Also, if you see “bargains” at the grocery store, check carefully to see if it truly is a bargain, and not just a ploy to have you buy a cheaper quality food for that lower “bargain” price!

Food waste is not a community or government problem—however, admittedly, they can help—but it has to start with the individual—me—and the family—we. This is such a beautiful, wonderful planet that we live on, and technology has helped us enjoy Nature’s abundance to hights undreamed of in the past! Just imagine how wonderful it would be if all of us took waste seriously.

Waste is not the world’s problem: it’s my problem!

We are trashing our land to grow food no one eats.”