I looked at the half-eaten slice of pumpkin pie on my plate.
It was past midnight post-Thanksgiving day, and I was adamant about continuing the tradition of stuffing my face with food until I finished watching reruns of House Hunters on HGTV.
My dog Oreo, who ate his tiny weight in turkey, slept lazily near my side, his head resting on my over-stuffed belly. Right as I decided that I could not eat another bite and would throw the pie away, I began to hear melancholic music coming from my TV.
Pictures of starving children flashed on the screen as a soothing voice encouraged me to “donate to feed the children this holiday season.”
I felt awkward with the potentially wasted piece of pie on my plate and starving kids staring at me across the room.
Oreo, sensing my first-world guilt, looked at me, and then at the pie. I slowly placed another piece of pie in my mouth.
“Don’t look at me like that,” I muttered to Oreo. He yawned and fell back asleep.
The awkward tension that developed that night between the starving children and the gluttonous me got me thinking about just what would have happened to my pie if I had thrown it away. Where would it have gone, and why should I care?
After investigating the Solid Waste Authority of my town, I figured out that my pie would have spent the remainder of its life in a landfill, contributing to the more than 34 million tons of food waste generated annually by Americans.