Question about wasting food and gluttony?


When is wasting food considered a sin? For example, the other day I dropped a donut on a chair and half of it touched the chair, while the other half was still wrapped, so I ate the clean side and threw the other side. Take in mind that this was at a public movie theater, was this a sin? Another example, if I’m at a restaurant and I eat my food but I still have some food left, like some rice or mashed potatoes, and its too small to take home, and I leave it, is that a sin? I mean I could stuff my face with the little bit left over, but wouldn’t that be gluttony since I’m eating past the point off being full? This always happens to me, I stop eating halfway through a meal because I’m starting to feel full and I don’t want to over indulge. Can someone please explain?


I have dropped many a donut, and I have eaten them all. But that’s because I like donuts (and I’m “thrifty”). There is no sin at all in discarding a “fallen” donut.

Throwing out small quantities of food is nothing to fret over. If you’re routinely buying 3 turkeys, and discarding 2 of them, that would be problematic.

If I am satisfied, but two bites remain on my plate, I can take it or leave it. It’s important to be somewhat childlike in these matters, lest they leave us counting the number of grains of basmati on our plate. The principle of probabilism (which moral theologians advocate) says that we can act against impractical rigorism like this, even if there is only one good reason for doing so (e.g peace of mind).

“A) Gluttony is a grievous fault: a) when it goes to such lengths that for a notable space of time it incapacitates us for the fulfilment of our duties of state or for the compliance with divine or ecclesiastical laws, for example, when it injures our health, when it is the cause of useless expenditures which endanger the interests of our home, when it makes us violate the laws of fast or abstinence. b) It is also a grave fault when it is the cause of other grievous faults." (Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey)

Pax Domine.


Ever thought of ordering smaller portions?? You are allowed to say that to the person taking your order.


It is certainly no sin to eat until you are full or to stop eating when you are full. When Jesus fed the five thousand, “they all ate and were satisfied” (Mark 6:42 and similarly in Matthew and Luke) or “had their fill” (John 6:12).

You would not be guilty of waste if the leftovers are so small that it would be impractical to take home. You should also consider whether taking home such a small amount of food would constitute an inappropriate or wasteful use of the take-away container.

The reply of this thread has a good description of types of gluttony:
Ask An Apologist - Do too many M&Ms constitute gluttony?
Nevermind that the question is about M&Ms. The answer is relevant to your questions.


Nothing you mentioned comes close to being a sin. As others mentioned,
sometimes it’s better to order a smaller portion, but leaving a little isn’t a sin.

If you want to see food wasted at a huge level, visit any school in the US, and watch what gets thrown out. Entire trays of food not touched by kids right into the garbage.
So much waste it’s horrible.


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