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Woman Irate After Spouse Cooks Dinner With Food She Threw Away To Make Point About Waste

A woman's hand throws an egg in the trash with other foods.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Having more than enough food is a blessing.

So many people are starving in this world.

But who knew extra food could cause marital strain?

That’s what happens when some grow up with food safety and others with food scarcity.

Case in point…

Redditor jukilypoo to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for serving my family food from the trash?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“For context, my sister and I grew up relatively poor.”

“When I was 6, our mom took a promotion and moved three hours away.”

“We found out in our adult life she had been hoarding her money and giving our alcoholic father a small allowance to raise us.”

“With his addiction problems, it left us minimal money for essentials.”

“By the time I was 16, we were technically on our own and was ransacking dumpsters to feed myself and my sister.”

“I’m now in my late 30s, have a successful career, and live quite comfortably, my sister is also well off now.”

“My wife and I have a great relationship, I’ve worked to stop some of my old habits from my upbringing.”

“Some of my penny-pinching techniques, my wife graciously ignores and lets me save our money where I can.”

“However, there’s one issue we always can’t find a compromise.”

“I can’t handle it when food is thrown out.”

“Our daughter (12) wanted chickens last year.”

“That ended up being a good idea since our table scraps would go to them instead of being wasted to the trash.”

“For the record, I hate when my wife shops at Costco.”

“She buys too much for our family, which creates a lot of waste.”

“I’ve asked her to at least donate what we don’t eat or give it to me, and I can drop it off to a homeless camp near my job.”

“She promised to just buy less quantity, but that didn’t last because she doesn’t like grocery shopping more than once a week.”

“Last week, I came home and found a sealed pack of lettuce, one whole cucumber, an entire loaf of bread, and potatoes in the trash can outside.”

“The lettuce was expired but looked fine.”

“The bread was also expired but had no mold.”

“The potatoes had eyes but weren’t green or rotten yet.”

“I went inside and started on dinner.”

“I grilled chicken, which was the only item not from the trash.”

“I made a salad and added the cucumber, used the bread to make croutons.”

“And finally, I made mashed potatoes.”

“We all sat down to eat, my wife mentioned how great the food was.”

“I told her it was what she had thrown out earlier that day.”

“She was completely mortified and grossed out.”

“I told her I washed everything off before cooking it, but she said that didn’t matter.”

“My point was if the food was good enough for us to eat, it should not have been thrown out.”

“At a bare minimum, she could have given it to our daughter to take to the chickens.”

“She argued back that I should have taken it from the trash and to the chickens, not to our table.”

“She was irritated with me, fearing we all would have food poisoning or something.”

“But none of us got sick from the food.”

“She said regardless, it was wrong for me to prove a point in that manner and borderline abuse to serve the family food from the trash.”

“I don’t really see what I did wrong.”

“There are starving people in this world, and for us to throw out perfectly fine food just doesn’t sit right with me.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.

“YTA. You need to find ways for you to heal from your childhood trauma without digging food out of the trash.”

“Just because you were okay this time doesn’t mean that wasn’t a bad decision, especially feeding it to your family without their consent.” ~ Mist2393

“Would amend to ESH because it’s clear from throwing out unused, unopened items that the wife IS buying more than they need and throwing it out instead of donating it.”

“Food waste IS unacceptable.”

“Having seen the news reports of activists who pull out pounds and pounds of perfectly good food from grocery store trash bins.”

“I am unable to say whether what OP did was dangerous or not, but even if it was, that doesn’t make buying too much food and throwing it out instead of donating it okay.” ~ JuliaX1984

“But… The food was good?”

“It’s clear it shouldn’t have been thrown out in the first place.”

“It was sealed as well.”

“Like, when OP first mentioned it, I thought it was going to be a case of cutting around the mold on the bread and using every scrap, but no.”

“OP’s wife sounds incredibly wasteful.”

“The expiry date is not a hard line.”

“If you store food properly, it can stay good for ages.”

“Like sure, OP probably shouldn’t have made dinner from it to make a point, but the wife is absolutely an a**hole for just throwing away food that I guess she’s been taught to see as no longer viable?”

“Why are people like this.”  ~ RubeGoldbergCode

“ESH. We basically make everything we can from scratch.”

“I enjoy cooking, and we’re on a budget, so it’s the easiest, healthiest, and cheapest way for us to eat, and we make good stuff.”

“We try and limit our shopping to one big run every other weekend, with the occasional stop by the store once or twice during the week (which we wouldn’t need to do if we actually planned a little bit better).”

“We rarely, rarely throw food out.”

“If we do, it’s because I made a bigger batch than I should have, and we didn’t want to eat the same meal 4 days in a row lol we also buy a lot in bulk.”

“But stuff that we can save easily (a vacuum sealer is a lifesaver if you want to limit waste and still shop effectively).”

“That being said, I would never take food out of the dumpster to eat.”

“Hard to say AH because you don’t seem to be malicious, but definitely askew.”

“Your wife is understandably upset, but that shouldn’t surprise you, considering you fed your family food from a dumpster without telling them to be snarky.”  ~ bendbrewer

“OP, I hear where you’re coming from, that’s a ton of waste!”

“But if food waste is important to you, why don’t you help your wife make a list for the store or do the shopping yourself?”

“I build our list of meals for the week and write out the ingredients needed for those meals plus one or two snacks.”

“Anything else isn’t necessary and probably won’t get eaten.”

“If this is that important to you, you may need to become more involved in that process.”  ~ AnonaDogMom

“YTA. She is right. There is so much bacteria in a trash can, you can quite well poison your family.”

“Just because it looks good and tastes good, doesn’t mean it is.”

“If it was laying around in the Kitchen, past date, that would be fine, but it was already in the trash.”  ~ BOOMDIGGGER

“YTA. You did this to prove a point, and honestly, you have no idea what will make people sick.”

“As someone in science, I can tell you that you can’t see if some foods have gone bad, and they would have to deal with the consequences of not feeling well.”  ~crimsonraiden

“YTA for how you’re approaching the subject and the unresolved trauma.”

“If you don’t want food waste, you and your wife need to sit down and meal plan.”

“And if she doesn’t want to grocery shop more than once a week, why can’t you shop once a week as well?”

“You’re putting the onus of your pet peeve onto her instead of proactively avoiding it yourself.” ~ Rough_Elk_3952

“I grew up with a clean freak as a mother and have a background in culinary arts and biological sciences that include courses in microbiology and food sanitation and safety, and I would have been fine eating it.”

“The lettuce was in a sealed package, and he washed it – a whole lot of people don’t bother, and you don’t want me to go into why that’s not a good idea.”

“Cucumbers are generally wrapped or waxed, and washing will remove any contamination if there is in fact any.”

“And potatoes after being washed, peeled, and cooked in boiling water couldn’t be safer.” ~ ffunffunffun5

“Honestly, NTA. Food waste is OUTRAGEOUS in first world countries.”

“And lettuce with an expired date???”

“Lettuce don’t ‘expire’ in a particular date, it just gets rotten.”

“Your wife should be more conscious of foods.”

“I can’t believe she’d rather throw food away knowing that you use to be a hungry kid and eat from the trash than make an effort to do a better shopping list.” ~ AutumnKoo

“YTA! She is right to feed the garbage food to the chickens, not your loved ones! I’d never trust your cooking again if I were her.”  ~ xHappyAcidx

OP, Reddit seems pretty clear.

While everyone understands your history with food, you may want to prove your point in a better way next time.

And it may not hurt to look into some therapy to discuss your past trauma.

Good luck and happy cooking.