Pope Francis: Wasting food is like stealing from the poor

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday (June 5) denounced consumerism and what he called the “culture of waste” of … Continued

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday (June 5) denounced consumerism and what he called the “culture of waste” of modern economies, especially when it comes to food.

“Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry,” he said during his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square.

His words came on the day the United Nations launched an anti-food waste campaign to mark World Environment Day.

According to data provided by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 1.3 billion tons of food — one third of the world’s total food production — are lost or wasted every year. In the United States, 30 percent of all food is thrown away each year.

“Consumerism has made us accustomed to wasting food daily and we are unable to see its real value,” Francis said, comparing this attitude to the frugality of “our grandparents” who “used to make a point of not throwing away leftover food.”

In his speech, the pope also warned that a “culture of waste” and consumerism have dulled the moral sense of humanity to the point that when “some homeless people die of cold on the streets, it is not news. In contrast, a 10-point drop on the stock markets of some cities, is a tragedy.”

The Argentine pope has been a vocal advocate for the poor since his election to the papacy in March, and has personally practiced austerity at the Vatican, living in a guesthouse rather than in the papal apartments and cutting down on elaborate vestments and liturgies.


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  • RoseMarie Marmolejo

    Again, you are on the mark and target. Having grown up the same way and feeding everyone that I can and growing a garden in the summer and sharing same, is the way my Italian family lived. I agree with the way your Grandmother was and my Mom was and live that way myself. I try never to waste a thing and don’t, we can always put leftovers into something else and make it wonderful and I do. I think when schools and bakeries have to throw out what is not used or sold ..that is a sin. The government made these rules, I believe this unsold or unused foods from the schools and shops should go to the soup kitchens or to shelters and not be wasted. That rule to flip things left over from school or bakeries is a total waste and sinful; we need to rethink some of these foolish and wasteful rules and share more freely. There is too much of the watchful eye going on and not enough of the gov minding their own business and allowing people to do what is right with that which can be used by those with less. I agree that some people post ignorant and stupid comments and those are most likely the ones who voted for a man whose family wastes our tax dollars on the most expensive vacations any pres every had. Our society needs to wake up and check their own back yard and stop all the criticizing of a new Pope who has just begun his journey in this role.

  • HeadsCarolinaTailsCA

    Pope Francis made an important point, in my opinion. Our priorities are out of whack when poverty which can be a life-threatening condition does not get the same concern as the financial interests of those who have the resources to make investments.