On The Futility Of Eating. Marriages. How To Reduce Food Wastage, By Banning Marriages

On The Evolution & Futility of Eating

By assigning appropriate weights to preconceived biases and no objectivity, one would be drawn to posit that the act of living out a life is an activity high on wastefulness. Being alive is a tough chore.

The aboriginal human found much nourishment in the rawness afforded by Nature. Climb a tree, pluck and devour fruits whose names early Adam did not know (or care about), or dive into friendly waters for a wondrous menu of exotic aquatica, or, if he had the motivation, to hunt for slippery quadrupeds. Everyone was entertained and lived happily; though some died in the process.

But all good things come to an end.

Nobody knows why we are here but being here, we enthusiastically look forward to indulging in belly enhancement. As mankind progressed, we experienced a bewildering desire to attain a level of culture in our eating habits. Few paused to ruminate, pun unintended, that after a very brief interlude spent flirting with the insides of the mouth, food’s journey through the gullet was swift, and once it landed in the stomach, the drama was over. Food entered the mouth in one form, journeyed in another and reached the stomach in a completely unrecognisable form. During meal times, we periodically indulge in the above activity, not once but several times over. Repeating the same set of movements.

Then, some more changes happened.

Multi-century growth in paper wealth and technological advancements led to a situation where we now produce more food than we eat more than we need. In this indecent show of gluttony are a great number of humans that go hungry.

Death is a given but we derive much thrill from delaying the process. Eating is a global bane.

Included in the assorted obnoxious wastes that are expelled naturally, in the process of eating, food wastage is a particularly unwanted consequence. Contributory factors behind this wastage can be traced to the development of another fad. Marriages.

The Futility of Marital Union

Much as death is the norm, life the exception, marriage is an exception to Nature’s evolutionary norm of polyamory. By inwasteing in medical research, we have succeeded in prolonging the exception of life. And by a jingoistic obsession with marital bondage, we have tried to achieve something similar in another arena.

Nature eventually prevails, as the chart below, capturing Marriage and Divorce trends in UK, seems to indicate.

Monetary benefits and convenience aside, there is no compelling reason for humans to indulge in the blissful ignorance of marital bliss. Through evolution, Companionship and Pleasures never knew about the existence of the M-word, which remains an entertaining man-concocted attempt at altering the course of Nature.

Radical Proposal: How To Reduce Food Wastage, By Banning Marriages

Policy actions that reverse these unwelcome trends should be welcomed and given a fair run. Much good can be achieved by addressing both these ills, ideally through a single policy.

One such radical proposal follows.

India is a good geography to begin with, for multiple reasons. In a wondrous irony, India has the second largest stockpile of food in the world yet has a quarter of its populace going to bed hungry and is home to over 40% of the world’s undernourished children. In addition to these, it is also one of the geographies best known for Big-Fat Weddings, where ostentatiousness is directly proportional to one’s apparent ‘arrival’ in society. Multi-thousand guest lists are common and understated vulgarity is scoffed at.

Some fun with numbers, to get a handle of the size of the problem. According to the Food Ministry, 100,000 weddings and social galas happen daily. Assuming a bare minimum of 50 guests are invited to the food fiesta, that’s a princely 5 million belly enhancers at work. Daily. Further assuming that the average meal weighs 500 gram, that’s 2.5 million kilogram of food. About 20% is wasted (an underestimate, most probably), so this translates into a conservative guesstimate of half a million kilogram of food wasted. Daily.

Some value guesstimates. At $5 per plate (conservative), $25 million is directed towards this display, daily. At 20% wastage run-rate, $5 million goes down the drain, quite literally, every day. ~$2 billion per year in wastage. Spread over a decade, this would dwarf Cyprus’ economy.

The distribution of food wastage is most likely skewed towards certain geographies, thanks to such ancillary activities of entertainment. Banning marriages might likely stem this rot, on needless wastage of precious food and needless wastage of (essentially worthless) money.

This would, additionally, also set right our aberrational tampering of Nature’s basic diktats of polyamory.

Successful application, overcoming intense resistance, could then encourage extensions to other geographies. Gradually, the entire globe would be covered under this policy, which shall fall under the aegis of a pan-global body, intended at rectifying Man’s blasphemy of Nature.

The body might be named, somewhat tongue-in-cheek as; Humans for humans, against Natures Laws. Which is true enough to convince unsuspecting humans to take the bait.

The inherent limitations and one-leggedness of this radical proposal is not lost on yours truly. But then, were one to ponder, most plans that humans have instituted throughout history for supposed community benefit have never really worked well for everyone and have broken down, at various points.

Going bust is the norm. One hopes this humble proposal shall be added to the long list of futile experiments attempted by Man.

No one died trying.

23 thoughts on “On The Futility Of Eating. Marriages. How To Reduce Food Wastage, By Banning Marriages

  1. HL,
    How great it is to read you again. Unfortunately, I’m just have enough words to make it to the end of this sentence…
    Le Clown (I pushed it…)

    1. 🙂

      Always good to hear from you, Le Clown! I hope, actually I’m sure, you’ve been spreading laughs. As usual.

      Yes, thank you for getting over the line there.

      I shall be hopping over soon. Lots of catching up to do. Imagine the amount of pushing that I’m up against (should make you feel better, hopefully).

      1. HaLin,
        I took a hiatus in May, and slowly got back into my groove. I would say today’s post officially welcomes me back as Le Clown on the blogosphere.

        It’s always a pleasure to read you.
        Le Clown

      2. Talk about not writing…. geesh mrtinney is on auto stop. Great work as usual HaL… perhaps I will find my mojo at some point?

      3. Glad to see you back Mr.T! My writing exercise regimen has been on a blissful errand, with Laziness. It feels queerly good to notice that Laziness seems to have a way of seducing writers that i admire. There is hope, still.

        I hope you shall take a break from your writing hibernation, even if briefly!


  2. Rather than ban marriages to limit food wastage, perhaps just ban weddings! It seems the trend is for women to get married in order to have the big, fancy wedding they have dreamed about ever since a young girl. This stems from the usual young girl dream of being a princess. Having huge weddings to show off to family and friends overshadows the actual idea that marriage is sealing two people’s love for another. During weddings, who eats all their food anyways — it’s the alcohol that guests want to indulge!

    1. That is a more thoughtful suggestion, Frances, than mine; and one that is likely to find takers. I don’t know too many of my lady friends that feel the same way. What you say is indeed quite true, though I know many lads that show a predilection for ostentatious weddings.

      I suspect the Princesses might strike though!

      What we lost in substance, we gained in appearance.

      Can I have a drink please?

  3. The last line is a clinching argument.
    But beware, you are playing with an established world order. Firstly, the economists and big business who will rail against the lunacy of cutting out wasteful consumption and how it goes “against the grain” of man’s endless and insatiable appetite (no pun intended) for wasteful consumption. Secondly, the creativeness of the rest of manking who are bound to find other innovative ways to wastefully consume. Or at least wastefully produce.

    1. You touch upon an interesting aspect. Resistance, which I left out, deliberately. I find it thrilling to read people’s responses, the way they think. The more divergent their thoughts are from my own, the better. Always look forward to reading your thoughts.

      You are right. The strongest resistance would likely emerge from economists and businesses that would feel the heat, should the ban be enforced. We are a creative race indeed.

      When I was very young, I used to think of wastefulness as akin to the Law of Conservation of Energy. Cumulative wastefulness was fixed, it couldn’t be destroyed, couldn’t be created, could only be transformed from one form to another. As I grew slightly wiser, I realised it was closer to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (crudely, chaos always increases!).

      One of the things I like doing, is to roll off with an idea; which is more than likely to be a rather inadequate/bad version, when it takes birth. As readers read through, they have something to nibble at, and are likely to come up with better variants. Almost always, when I re-read what I’ve written, a better variant pops up in my head. The iterative process generally leads to the emergence of good ideas that are fun to think about, even if they turn out to be rather useless in the larger scheme of application. But, who knows, trying is always welcome.

      Frances, above, did that with her idea of banning (ostentatious) weddings, instead of banning marriages, which is admittedly a little extreme (well, that’s one of the themes of satire, using a touch of unreasonableness to convey something more reasonable!). You, touch upon the aspect of resistance.

      Thank you for your consistent participation, Ankur.

  4. I know what I’ll do – when they elect me King of the World – I’ll dish out ration cards – so much food and beverages per adult and child per day.

    You guys can marry and have wedding feasts all you want…

    Ain’t that superb – like all politicians I just used a sledge hammer to kill that fly besmirching my marble floor…

    1. Eric, great idea! Rationing is a wonderful concept. It imposes a level of natural austerity, but dispensing it reasonably is fraught with obstacles of various kinds! I have always found the idea of the appearance of choice/free-will, with one hand tied behind the back, quite fascinating! Especially as the idea, which I’m quite certain you understand much better than I do, is so divergent from my natural inclinations. 🙂

      Amen. (To the King of the World bit!).

      In one of the forthcoming posts, I treat the concept of austerity, seen through the eyes of our historical dalliance with money, as a medium of exchange.

  5. Ban marriages, ban weddings (as a fellow respondent suggested)- in any event, can that be retroactive? Maybe get some of that wasted money back? These weddings are let downs anyway, and the marriages are no picnic…oh right, and we save food as a convenient benefit. Don’t tell my wife I was here.

    1. 🙂

      Our evolution is a repository of our past damages. Unfortunately, little can be done to set them right. Prospective damage, however, is a matter of choice. We could try (though I think we’d find news ways of keeping the legacy going)!

      Nice to see your comment. I look forward to reading you.

  6. Hemant. Your suggestions are most sensible and easily implementable! But will our society accept such proposals? Forget about a ban on marriages with ostentation, the problem is the actors themselves aspire for fancy marriages – the young bride and groom who’re otherwise modern and savvy! Suddenly, the realisation of customs, traditions, blah, blah dawns on them!!!

    1. I’m not optimistic of these proposals – even in watered down form – to be implemented in the foreseeable future. There is too much historical inertia of adhering to commonly accepted, man-made norms.

      Psychological anchoring is a tough nut to crack. I remain hopeful, but not optimistic.

      Thank yyou for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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