Opened the fridge door — damn that smell. I knew exactly what to blame. The 18-inch long bag of celery.
We know we are supposed to eat “veggies.” But we don’t. They sit in the “crisper” until the smell forces us to throw them away.
That same scent followed me to the outside trash. In the 115-degree heat on the west side of the house, the sun melts and marinates it into the humid and acrid scent of decay. It’s easy to mistake it for a baby’s 3-day-old diaper.
Maybe we will take a week or two off the “veggie train” and not fill the bottom of the fridge with future food waste? Most of the time we don’t. The next week we are at it again with a football-sized mound of cauliflower or a volleyball of broccoli. As I’m carrying it in, I know I will be carrying it out wrapped in a white kitchen garbage bag.
But we persist.
Every medical professional professes the magic of the vegetable. For minerals, vitamins, weight loss, brain power, muscle power, recovery, anti-inflammation, colon health, bladder health, youthful skin, healthy children, long life… Probiotics for fuck’s sake. Happy gut biome. Bacteria on a power diet.
So we buy it.
But then we open the door and have to decide what to eat.
Fuck the vegetables, goes unsaid, but that’s exactly what we mean.
We know it’s bad. We resign ourselves to be fat, inflamed, constipated and blotchy. You know, happy.
Sometimes, sometimes, we pull out the vile green weeds and find a way to choke them down. Smothered in sour cream, or covered in cream cheese. On a good day, I’ll use them as “natural spoons” to eat peanut butter from the jar. We pat ourselves on the back for eating “right.”
We don’t talk about the food waste. We just grind it down the disposal like the rest of America. This country wastes more than 30 percent of its food. We could easily feed the starving in the rest of the world with what we throw away. We try not to think about that.
I’m betting more than half that waste is “fresh fruit and vegetables” — bought with the best of intentions and left to rot in the bottom of our enormous stainless steel appliances.
I have yet to see ice cream or steak go in any dumpster anywhere in America.
It’s not just me. You know most of us fat Yankees would be better off buying a couple of goats, feeding them the veggies and slaughtering one on the full moon. Call it a sacrifice to the non-existent gods of efficiency.
Amazon could provide an at home slaughter service. Pick up the goat, bring back the meat — with two-day free shipping. Tell the kids the goat went to live “on a farm.”
But that’s yet another of my brilliant ideas that will go to waste. Goats will never be the new urban chickens. Suburban America will never be able to get that “close” to its food. People would start naming, petting and “having relationships” with those goats (Geno).
They would stop feeding it the rotten fruits and veggies. Gourmet goat food businesses would pop up all over the country. Commercials for the “Farmer’s Goat” would show people eating the “goat food” with a spoon.
We’ll just have to rename the “ice box.” That’s not a crisper or true food storage – – for the fruits and vegetables, it’s the “Rotterator.”