Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
You don’t want to take the food home to finish off but you don’t want the food to go to waste.
So you find the nearest garbage can and……..
You plop your foil-wrapped leftovers right on top of the trash receptacle.
Your hope is that a homeless person will come along, see what you've discarded, grab it and eat.
Two San Francisco designers, Axel Albin and Josh Kamler are pushing the concept of leaving unwanted leftovers on garbage cans for the homeless, an idea they call, “replating.”
They stress that the leftovers have to be a good size, not scraps, and the food must be left in an areas with a lot of traffic so it won’t spoil. There is also the assumption (or hope) that citizens will discard the food if it appears unsuitable for consumption.
Several obvious questions come to mind.
Isn’t room temperature food a health risk?
What if bugs or insects get to the leftovers first?
Doesn’t this sound more like littering than a good deed?
Proponents have replies for all questions of concern on the website, www.replating.org:
Won't the food go bad and make people sick?
People are eating food out of the trash. They are digging into public trash cans, pulling out old, dirty food, and eating it. Surely food that's on top of the trash, and not mixed in with the muck, is less likely to make a person ill. Surely food that's in plain sight and easily accessible will be picked up sooner (and thus in a fresher state) than food that's hidden in the trash.
The idea of food left outdoors feels messy.
Some have worried that food will rot or that rats will get to it before hungry people do. This is a legitimate concern in small towns or sparsely populated areas, but certainly not in a town like San Francisco where, at any given moment, there are many people without enough to eat.
Why not just eat your own leftovers?
Of course. Many of us do. But sometimes you just don't, for any number of reasons. Rather than toss 'em out, or go traipsing through the city looking for a hungry person, maybe the next best thing is to replate them.
Incompatible trash cans.
Apparently, New York City trash cans don't have hoods or ledges, so there's no horizontal surface on which to replate. This isn't as big a problem as some have suggested. If you want to give someone the food you're not going to eat, simply put it next to the trash can, or on a newspaper dispenser.
There's a strange paranoia in the conversation about evil people poisoning the food. Sure, it could happen. But you could also get pushed in front of the subway train. Or someone could put razor blades in your Halloween candy. People could betray your trust in any number of ways, but if you ride the subway, or eat Halloween candy, you know that the fear far outweighs the actual risk.
Robert Egger of D.C. Central Kitchen has reservations about replating. D.C. Central Kitchen, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that recovers unused food, prepares and delivers meals to social service agencies, and trains and employs homeless men and women for the food service industry. It’s a community kitchen that recycles over one ton of surplus food each day and turns it into 4,500 nutritious meals each day.
Egger is offended at the notion of replating, telling the Washington Post that a movement like replating could hurt the work that’s been done to develop a professional atmosphere about food donation.
Egger envisions a lawsuit from contaminated food that was part of replating. It might lead to restaurants refusing to give away food.
There’s also the issue of dignity.
The Washington Post interviewed a homeless man named Luke who, after being told about replating said, “I'm homeless. I'm not a dog."
Instead of littering all over town, let’s encourage more restaurants to donate to food pantries and homeless shelters. Take away the potential for litigation so more donations can be made.
Replating is unsanitary, risky, dangerous, unhealthy, undignified and gross, a typical do-gooder idea with good intentions that has too many flaws.
There are far better ways to help the homeless than to put garbage on top of garbage.
PREVIOUS CULINARY NO-NO’S
1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.
12) Some regional flavored ice cream…..like black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server.
19) Eating out on a Monday night.
20) Pumpkin beer.
21) Mail-order turkey.
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance.
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October.
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays.
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked.
33) Putting hot spices and other weird stuff in chocolate bars and hot cocoa.
34) Don’t disregard fruitcake.
35) Sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve ain’t champagne.
36) Ordering a Coors Light or any facsimile when at an outdoor open-air bar on a tropical beach.
37) Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in Wisconsin.
38) Goat burgers and healthy items at tailgate parties.
39) The restaurant of the future, with all kinds of cameras trained on you for....research.
40) The Budweiser Chelada