Or the Indians, or the Africans, or the Hungarians.  Thus did generations of parents guilt-trip generations of children into cleaning their plates.  Now comes Pope Francis, calling attention to the sin of wastefulness.
“This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition,” the Pope said.

“Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times we are no longer able to give a just value.

“Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and the hungry,” he said.

Since taking office in March, Pope Francis has called for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to do more to defend the poor and to practise greater austerity itself.
The most logical austerity for well-off parents and well-off eaters might be to put less stuff on their plates. A great deal of restaurant food gets thrown away because the portions exceed the capacity of all but the most ravenous stomachs. Smaller portions might also help at home.  (And what good does it do a hungry Armenian for a prosperous American to clean his plate?)

How much obesity started with children guilt-tripped into cleaning their plates?  Less stuff on a plate, less struggle to finish it.  Perhaps leaving the table neither hungry nor full is the best strategy.

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