Excess and Greed

An article I read recently in Huffington Post reminded me of a post that’s still in draft. It’s a social ill that bothers me a lot; one of the Seven Deadly Sins that we don’t talk about much…… greed.

This article was weighing the environmental damage that comes from meat vs. vegetables.  It points out that vegetables take just as much water and fuel to produce as raising animals for food. I guess a lot of bacon lovers were happy when it was pointed out how much water and fuel it took to give us all the lettuce we ‘need’.


It seems obvious to me that it doesn’t matter if you are talking vegetarian or carnivore….. it’s greed that’s the problem here, excess and greed.

Lettuce does take a lot of water then fuel to ship to those of us who live in colder climates and ‘have’ to have our lettuce all year around. We buy our weekly supply of lettuce and often half of it gets thrown out. Every grocery store is filled with different kinds of lettuce; plastic boxes of baby lettuce, lettuce mixed with other leaves….. Tons and tons of lettuce, much of which will be thrown out. Some by the consumers, some by the store when it’s reaches its expiry date.


I’ve written about this before. waste-and-gluttony-a-rant

Working in the bakery I throw out cakes in the morning that have reached their expiry dates…. lots of cakes because every one has to be displayed. We throw out at least one cart full of bread everyday and we are a very small grocery store. Tons and tons of food, in their containers, are being thrown out everyday, all over North America.  We have made some strides in recycling and composting but this stuff is all produced first.

People work to grow the crops and move the produce to ensure that every grocery store has every fruit and vegetable every season. We have fresh asparagus from Peru! Wages are paid, profits are made. Shelves and bins must be kept fully stocked.

Millions of cows are pumping out milk that expires and gets flushed away because Canadian Tire and Shoppers Drug Mark can sell you milk, too. It’s insanity.

The thing at work that really makes me think of gluttony, excess and greed is that damn lobster tank I have to walk past at work.  It’s the ‘holidays’ between Christmas and New Year’s so they have fully stocked the lobster tank. They are piled up on each other, starving and dying so someone can get a fresh lobster and boil it alive. It disgusts me. I don’t often speak out about my vegetarian views but that lobster tank is gross, in every sense of the word.  Why don’t other people see a tank of large, distressed crustaceans trying to escape? How many will die and get thrown out first?

And we are one little grocery store in small town.

I’m just as guilty buying lettuce, avocados and grapefruits. My vegetable bin is the place where good intentions go….. and often shrivel up an die.

Something will be done in the future because it seems unsustainable. It’s too much…. we have to get our greed in check. Those of us poor enough have it done for them automatically but working in a grocery store I see behind the scenes.

Now we have all kinds of Christmas cakes, logs, cookies, cupcakes etc. that we had ready and on hand in case someone wanted that thing…….  all to be throw out now.

It’s time for the New Year’s Eve food extravaganza……


“Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the “culture of waste.” —– Pope Francis