The Seen and the Unseen of “Waste”

by Jim Fedako

Our goats love this time of year. The neighboring fields have been harvested, but not completely. Around the border and in odd spots throughout the field that adjoins our property are fugitives from the combine — soybean plants laden with browned, dried pods. We tug the goats toward the gate separating pasture from field, and then, once they realize their passage is safe, they tug us to their awaiting meal.

And while they glean, I glean.

Recently, I had a Facebook discussion with someone lamenting food waste. He recited some statistic that claimed that somewhere around 50 percent of food (a term he was unable to adequately define) was wasted, with waste having a moral implication. I challenged him to clarify his use of waste, noting the soybeans our neighbor sowed but never reaped. Were those wasted?

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