One of the most amazing and somewhat sickening elements to the hoarding lifestyle is the compulsion to hoard food. When D. first moved in with me, it took him months to go through all of the reserves of canned corn and tuna that I had somehow stocked up in a year’s time. I still have bags of rice, tea, and spices from before we met more than 5 years ago. At least most of these items are shelf-stable.
Today via barfblog.com’s “Food safety from farm to fridge to garbage can (compost pile)” based on a New York Times story, we learn that a quarter to half of all food produced in the country becomes garbage. Yet there are hoarders, like me, who have trouble throwing away the vanilla bean their friend brought back from the tropics because she may one day have a recipe that needs it. Even worse, there are people with moldy magot-filled food in their fridges because they’ve forgotten it’s there or they think they may still be able to use it.
When mentally conjuring this post this morning, I thought about my father’s refrigerator. It is always packed to the brim, and not really with rotten food. In my memory it remains full of huge tubs of margarine and cheese that were on sale and tupperware bins of leftovers, including my very least favorite, leftover gravy. (It was often my chore to flush the gravy-gone-moldy down the toilet … talk about barfblog material.) In addition to their large refrigerator/freezer (and pantry) that’s packed full, they have a storage freezer full of other sale items and butchered meat from whatever was successfully hunted or leftover from other people’s hunts. When you reduce it down to the needs of two people living in that house, it is an enormous quantity of food.
I may need to go home for Thanksgiving this year and call it research. Are the tubs of food bulging out of the fridge only in my mind, or are they a real entity?