This Food is nasty

This food is nasty by Maurice Armstrong 09/20/12

Recently, while dining at favorite restaurant, Tanayah blurted out these words that bothers me every time I hear it. “This food is nasty.”

What is so offensive about the food, I ask?

I don’t like the taste of it.

Well then, I quickly responded with a hint of disgust: “just say you don’t like the taste of the food.” To call any food nasty is a very foolish and thoughtless comment for anyone to make. For,while some may not like the taste of Garlic flavored spinach, many others, me included, seem to enjoy the delicious taste.

Having traveled to a few foreign countries has taught me quite a lot about different customs and cultures. What we take for granted here in the US is a luxury to be desired in some of these countries. Here in my home city we cannot drink the water from the faucet. So, we must purchase bottled water for drinking and cooking. In some parts of the world, there’s no water, for drinking or cooking and, I’m sure they would be grateful to have the water from my faucet.

Some, if not all their local foods have a strange taste, but this is what they are accustom too. For me to call their food nasty, would be an insult that could cost me my life.  What we discard as “day old” would indeed be the delight of many foreign neighbors. We take so much for granted while others are dying to have what we waste. In an article posted on 8/21/2012 in the Huffington Post online news it said, “Americans throw away nearly half their food.” In this article a study conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Council’s, food and agriculture program confirms that “Americans discard 40% 0f their food supply an amount of roughly $165 Billion annually.” What we may call “nasty” is in fact “tasty” too many hungry families.  Born and raised in a third world country–

I remember those days when we had to eat Yams, Cassava or boiled Plantain– and these were foods I did not like, even to this day. Mama would often say to us “If you don’t like it, sit close beside it”. What she meant was–there were no options. whatever she cooked, that’s what you ate. The only choices were in when, you were going to eat that meal. If the meal was served for lunch, you can either eat it for lunch or reserve it for dinner. Remaining hungry was never a wise decision.

Mom always insisted that: “We should be grateful for what we have because there is always someone, somewhere who does not have anything to eat.”  So, in our nation of plenty, let us be careful to be grateful and maintain an attitude of gratitude.  I have sat in those “all you can eat” restaurants and watch as people take different foods on a plate, then sit down and pick over it, eating very little then dumping it in the trash; and doing the same thing over and over again. It’s at times like these, when, I’m reminded of those days when I longed for some of that food I see thrown in the trash.  I’m convinced: We will never truly appreciate having if we have never been without. I don’t mean being without for just a few days until the check comes at the end of the month. But, I am referring to being without, and you don’t have a clue as to when or where that next bite — not a meal — just something to eat, is coming from.

Coming to America has been graciously wonderful in so many ways. But every now and again; I am sharply reminded of the painstaking realities of growing up in a third world country, in the 60s.