Saturday, July 12, 2008
Waste Not Want Not
Justin and I were just enjoying our Saturday morning bagel breakfast when the most disturbing event happened. I was watching one of the workers put huge loaves of bread into a slicing machine. He would quickly take a loaf off of the sales display, carefully set it on the machine, and set the slicer. Here is were the disturbance occurs, after the bread was sliced, he would throw away the heals, or ends of the bread, and package the bread for either sandwiches or sale. He did this with about 20 loaves of bread. My stomach felt sick. After working with poverty stricken, hungry children who have no choice in how they come into the world, I had to say something to the manager. So, I pulled the manager aside and asked, "Do you throw away the ends of every loaf of bread?" He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "You can't make a sandwich out of that! Besides, no one enjoys the ends of the bread." I told him I was quite shocked and informed him about the children with whom I work. He apologized and reassured me that Panera Bread donates money and left-over food at the end of the day to many charities around the Kansas City Metro area. I said okay and thanked him for answering my questions, but still felt haunted by the amount of waste I wittnessed. After leaving and thinking about the huge hunger problem our world has, the future of our economy, and the slow decline of the middle-class population I am deeply concerned about the amount of waste which occurs. While people may employ their good-doings with monetary and left-overs which do not sell at the end of the day, why not do more? Save the ends and ship them to Africa, dry them out and grind it for future batter or breading, make a gosh darn crouton out these unworthy sandwich making ends, but don't throw them away.