Clean your plate

Hopefully by this time you have all either eaten the big bird and its Thanksgiving leftovers or thrown it out fearing food poisoning. At which point you probably gave it to the dog to throw up all over the rug later in the day. At least it's gone for another year, and we can move on to fresh food at least until Christmas when another round of “don't waste food” runs rampant through our houses.

I am not sure the younger generations have ever been exposed to the idea that food is somehow precious and to be eaten regardless of being hungry or not. But when Ol’ Dutch was growing up — yes, a long time ago according to Miss Trixie — we were constantly made aware by our mothers that we were not to waste any food.

We all heard the line: “Be sure and clean off your plate as all those starving kids in Africa would be glad to have it.” Of course, when faced with a seemingly endless supply of broccoli or turnips we all would have been glad to have packaged those up for those poor starving waifs, but instead were forced to cram it down an already bursting gullet.

These constant reminders about the starving masses were reinforced with multiple advertisements on television about starving children overseas somewhere. And not to be left out, missionaries to such places often visited the church where Ol’ Dutch attended, reinforcing those same horror stories with the attending slide show run by the missionary’s wife.

Slide after slide would flash across the big screen in front of us showing poor little kids with distended bellies who we were just sure would welcome a sprig of broccoli if only they could get it. These missionary meetings were usually followed by an after-service fellowship where people stuffed themselves like pigs at a trough.

Food of copious quantities was heaped up on the tables with nary a thought to the nutritional value to any of it as cakes and pies and other sweets were mounded up like Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa itself. And having just seen 1,743 black and white slides of starving little kids, people ``bellied up to the bar” so to speak and ate like recruits at boot camp.

For you see the thoughts of something going to waste while others went without was akin do sinning in some form or another and so we chomped our way to salvation of a sorts at least in the eyes of our mothers. Now of course Ol’ Dutch eating his portions didn't hurt him one bit, but I don't think it helped the poor little kids on some far-off dark continent either. And I think it probably set us up for a lifetime of overeating an entire buffet line, too.

I am not sure when the buffet was first introduced in America, but I am sure that it came about due to the influence of mothers and missionaries who stroked our conscience over and over.

Our mothers of course had our best interest at heart in wanting us to eat a balanced diet which most kids do not want to do. And Ol’ Dutch soon found out that the missionaries had their best interest at heart as a few slides of starving little kids filled their coffers with money enough to last them another year.  But I do think it also led us to a place where we ate and still eat too much. One has only to look around – and at a round Dutch – to know that our mothers and others are the leading cause of diabetes here in America.

Which means Pfizer and other drug companies owe their very existence and sizable fortunes to motherhood and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And after all it was Jesus Himself who served His followers a last meal and tradition today makes it mandatory to “eat it all” when you partake of said ceremony in a church.

So, there you have it in a nutshell I suppose and hopefully you ate all the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving before it turned green. And if not, come Christmas time this year try and remember all the little starving children in Africa and clean up your plate like a good boy and girl.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.