Let me say, right off, that nothing – NOTHING – in my everyday life bothers me more than the wasting of food. My kids are scared to tell me if they didn’t like what I cooked, but that’s because they don’t get it. I’m okay with you not liking it. I’m not okay with you not eating it. I take notes. If the kids don’t like something, I won’t make it for them again. But I expect it to be eaten the first time. This is the biggest source of conflict I have in my marriage, as my wife doesn’t get it either. She figures that if you don’t like the taste of the food that was prepared for you, you just throw it in the garbage and eat a bag of chips instead. This makes my head explode. At least use the green bin, can we compromise on that?!?

But this is a personal thing. Something I control (or, rather, wish I could control) in my own house. And watching other people waste food does produce in me a visceral reaction. It does bother me. But only in certain situations. And the fans throwing hamburgers on the ice after big wins is not one of them.

The reason this doesn’t bother me is the same reason it didn’t bother me to spend $70 at McDonald’s for the video you see above. Or that it didn’t bother me when we threw bushels of tomatoes at Jeff Brown in his Leafs jersey. Or made people reach inside greased up turkeys for Stones tickets. Or tried to see if we could fry an egg on the sidewalk on a particularly hot day. Complaining about these things being a waste of food (and we do get those complaints a lot) is a false equivalency. Suppose we took these complaints seriously. Here’s what you would get:

There might be some burgers that stay together and there might not. Jeff Brown is wearing a Leafs jersey and we donated $11 to a food bank. We gave Stones tickets to the first three people we saw in our parking lot yesterday and donated $9 to a food bank. Hey, it’s hot out eh? We gave 41 cents to a food bank.

The thing is, these are not either-or situations. If those people didn’t throw their burgers on the ice, the other choice is not giving them to the food bank. The other choice is simply eating them. And paying way too much for a burger you don’t need anyway, and getting fatter and throwing out 70% of it. I’ve done this. I’ve paid WAY too much for a burger at the CTC, then I ate it. I didn’t need it. It made me fatter. Not only was that a waste, it was specifically harmful to me. Dumb, right?

If you want to actually complain about the burgers that get thrown on the ice, you should probably be consistent about it. If you get a bad meal at a restaurant, you’d better not send it back. You eat it. In fact, you should probably boycott restaurants altogether. As a veteran of the restaurant industry I can tell you more food is wasted making the food you are served than you could possibly imagine. Shun fat people. Don’t buy anything made with corn (drywall, lipstick, wax paper, Windex, toothpaste, spark plugs, diapers…the list goes on. And ON.)

What we really hate is the IDEA of wasting food. And seeing it at a Senators game produces that visceral reaction because we see it. There is an immediacy to it. But a little logic tells us that it’s not actually wasting food, it’s simply using it for a purpose other than eating. Which may seem like the same thing, but it’s not. I hate the wasting of food in my house because if feels like entitled arrogance. Who cares, right? There’s more where that came from! At the same time, I never use the ‘starving people all over the world’ argument because it holds no water. My kids not finishing their chicken does not take chicken OUT of the mouth of someone who needs it more than they do.

That being said, the annoyance being directed at the Parkdale Food Bank for suggesting a food bank donation instead of tossing the burgers is misplaced. They are getting their name out there and jumping on the trend, and making a valid point. You SHOULD be donating to food banks. And the solution to all of this is simple. If the sight of food flying apart on the ice after another amazing Hamburglar game bothers you, make a donation. Done. If you go on social media to complain about it, that’s okay too. Then make a donation.

But you’re not going to donate a pre-made hamburger to a food bank. I know, for example, that Hintonburger does some amazing work with the Parkdale Food Centre. It’s a terrific partnership – that doesn’t involve massive donations of delicious Hintonburgers, unless you count the meals served to the food bank’s clients AT the restaurant itself. So if you want to celebrate the Hamburglar, and the burgers on the ice bother you, go to the HIntonburger on a Monday. Eat a hamburger. Then stop by Parkdale’s reverse food truck and make a donation. That’s what you can do. Complaining is simply giving voice to something you can’t do.

ALSO! If no one ever wasted food, we couldn’t have this: