This is not about the guilt-ridden question: Should I eat meat? That personal dilemma has already been debated thoroughly on Grist and elsewhere. Instead, here’s another dose of angst for us meat eaters, just in case we needed one: If we’re going to condone the killing of animals, the least we can do is eat all of the resulting meat.
When I do readings for my book, American Wasteland, I begin by talking about the ethical shortcomings of wasting food. Primarily, there’s the idea that someone would have loved to eat the foods that we squander. Wasting food devalues the suffering of millions in America and a billion worldwide who don’t get enough to eat. These days, 15 percent of Americans [PDF] are food insecure, or struggle to find enough to eat. And food banks and hungry people have a hard time getting sufficient protein, especially the kind not found inside a tin can or a cylinder of casing.