Respecting Food

I have come across so many people across the world who claim themselves as food-lovers, and never waste food, but then what I saw was them leaving heaps of food they couldn’t finish in restaurant, or dumping their leftovers at home, or just putting them in the fridge for ages until they went bad and then throw into the bin. Is that really a way of respecting food?


When I was young, I was raised by my grandparents, who had gone through the huge sufferings during Second World War when the Japanese invaded China and Hongkong. I remember whenever I couldn’t finish my meal, my grandfather used to tell me the story during the war, that they were starving with no food to eat, they had no choice but to chew and swallow the bark of the tree in order to fill their stomach. Therefore I should finish every single drop of rice in my bowl, not to waste them at all. This is his favorite quote: “粒粒皆辛苦”, which means every piece of rice is come from the hard work of the farmer, to remind us how precious they are. This idea is deeply embedded into my mind, that’s why you could hardly see anything left in my plate wherever I go.


Sometimes I would even eat all the leftovers or finish the food on my friends’ plates, people might misunderstand that I eat a lot. Well, it depends. Honestly I simply just don’t want to see the food being dumped into the rubbish bin anyway, so it is better to eat them.

Food are not made for being wasted, this is a common principle:
“Don’t cook/order more than you can eat, otherwise be prepared to eat the leftovers the next day, and don’t cook new dishes until all the old ones have been eaten.”


It is still very ridiculous that some people are still dying of hunger nowadays, but at the other side, people are dumping tonnes of food every single day. Totally unfair!!

Last year I walked through some incredible places that charitable organizations (like churches or temples) give out free food to people, I expect more countries will follow this merciful act!
Sydney, Australia:
Lunch provided by Greek Welfare Center
Dinner provided by Hare Krishna Hindu group


Amritsar, India:
Meals provided by the Golden Temple


Stockholm, Sweden:

Brunch provided by Santa Clara Kyrka Church


Copenhagen, Denmark:
Dinner provided by various Folks kitchens (photos not allowed)

2 thoughts on “Respecting Food

  1. great post! seeing people waste large amounts of food is such a shame- especially as you can easily get it packed up and eat it the next day!

  2. I do tend to eat most food on my plate –which is sometimes too much.
    Your grandpa was right –the work in every grain of rice needs to be honoured and eaten well.

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