Tag Archives: Chez Panisse

“IT’S O.K. TO WASTE FRIES” and other appalling notions

Is it okay to waste anything?

Is it okay to waste anything?

I could NOT BELIEVE my eyes when I saw this sign on a fryolator at an airport food court the other day.Yes, I was in the food court…. I was desperate for food because I’d been waiting on stand-by all day and couldn’t get on a flight. I will know better next time and fill my tote with real food whether I think I need it or not. 

Anyway, what’s with this company endorsed policy to waste? And look at the sign. It’s almost enthusiastic in the way it looks and reads. It’s like the message is “Go ahead! PLEASE waste the fries! And, while you’re at it, why don’t you waste everything?” Sure there’s plenty of money and shareholders and industrial agriculture. There are people who are desperate for work and they’ll eat a 99-cent burger if they have to. I know I have and I’m not ashamed to say it. And, yes, I realize that the intent of this sign is to ensure food quality and safety. And that is a good thing. 

I am not opposed to companies offering affordable food and making a profit. What I grow and eat is largely MY choice. What I’m opposed to is this public display of sanctioned unsustainability. According to Slow Food Nation, in this country we produce 1-1/2 times the amount of food each year than is consumed. In addition to this gross agroindustrialism, our children receive fast food and crap for lunch – the ONLY meal of the day for some children. This is so sad I am verging on tears. 

I ran across an article today at Civil Eats which brought to my attention a campaign developed by Slow Food USA called Time For Lunch. This campaign is petitioning Congress to add one dollar per meal per day to the National School Lunch Program. Please sign this petition at your earliest opportunity. I also urge you to have a conviction about how this dollar should be spent. In my humblest opinion, this extra dollar should be spent creating edible schoolyards such as the kind that Alice Waters, Chef Ann Cooper and the Chez Panisse Foundation have built in Berkely and, now, New Orleans. It is NOT enough to feed more dollars to a crippled system such as the School Lunch Program

And it is NOT “O.K. TO WASTE”.



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