Story of the last bite

  • Post category:Psychology / Social
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Hello people! Hi, I am “the last bite”. Some of you know me and may be some do not. There is high probability that people who are reading this would know me in one or another way. I can often be found in at your home or in some group meetings when some friends get together to eat or parties or festivals.

I am that last piece of cookie in the plate waiting to be picked by someone. I am that last spoon of soup in the bowl, which people did not tried to scoop away. I am that last bite of bread on the table which some people were felt ashamed to pick up. I am also that last sip of coffee or tea or beer that people like to leave as otherwise they may appear as some kind of miser. I hope you kind of know who I am. I won’t be surprised that some still does not recognize me and that’s ok. With time I learned that there are people who just do not want to accept my existence. They would see something is left in the bowl, but they do no consider it as me, “the last bite”. If someone else mentions it to them, they would find other explanations for it. E.g. oh, I do not like too much sweet or the soup is stuck to the bottom or walls or so what if there are couple of spoons left in a bowl, it’s like empty, isn’t. They would say, ” What are you talking about, the utensil is empty”. They would say it on my face, while I am waiting there to be scooped up.

Earlier I had very little presence. Once in a while I would be seen in a country. Occurrences were so rare that nobody noticed that a new “thing” is coming into existence. With time humans revolutionized their world and more and more got easy access to food. As human prosperity increased so did my existence grew. When you catch a meal after 2-5 days of effort running behind some animal to feed 10-15 people, there was no question of my existence. It was not just that humans had more access to food, the environment around them changed as well. Humans were living in more open places with lots of animals around themselves. At this stage humans had domesticated animals and crops. So, they had an easy access, but still they were too vulnerable to external factors e.g. rains, draughts or other diseases. This kept them on their toes and in turn it meant that I could not exist. If there was some extra food it usually followed the food chain to the end. The same way a tiger hunts -> the family eats -> tigers leave when full or noting left that they can eat -> the dogs come to eat -> some vultures -> some insects or bugs and natural decay. It was pretty much a conspiracy to make sure that I cannot come alive.

What are the chances that it will end up in garbage without any 2nd thoughts?

But the circumstances never remains the same and so it did happened that this chain was broken. Humans started to live in bigger and bigger groups. They specialized their tasks and slowly became so distant from each other that today the generation believes that milk and meat come from super-market in a packet or a bottle. They have no idea about the existence of milk and the effort it takes to get it delivered to the shelf. They of course know that if one is standing on a cash counter then (s)he must get 5 EUR/USD an hour, but a bottle of milk is just a small effort to pick from counter and pay at an automat. Who care if the milk is left in the glass or remains open long enough to rot. Next weekend, one can buy 2 cartons! Well, I don’t mind it as it helps promote my existence.

Was it just the abundance of the food that helped me to come alive? As I see it, it was not. As the social groups became more complex, ego, social status, image became very important and too complex to even understand. Let’s take few examples relevant to me. If one person hosts a party, that person will try to ensure that he order more food/drinks than it is needed. For one simple reason that in any situation it should not happen that one person get 1 piece of chicken less or someone gets just one piece of bread. Because, if there is a shortage it would bring shame to him/his family. This is not just in the mind of one person. It is a collective effort. Where I sit it is easier to hear people talk when they come one by one to fill their plates. They may have full plate, but if they did not get that piece of cake, immediately there will be a complaint. For this, they do not mind if there are plates of food to throw away. I mentioned it earlier, humans have successfully managed to break the food chain. Due to this they have to throw it away and cannot pass it over to the nearby animals. Of course for their pride they have created various animal shelters where one can donate food. But come’ on, if humans find it a challenge to swipe the last spoon from a bowl, then who is going to collect all the food, drive somewhere to feed some animals. It is much easier to throw it all in a container. On one side, while people keep on putting posters around the world or sharing facebook photos on “save the food” and so on. One the other side, they are not happy to go to a party, to have a simple meal that fills the tummy, share few talks with friends and come back home. No, they like to have big portions on the table, a large amount leftover and then almost no-one would like to take the food home. The host may literally force the guests to take it, but that more for the reason that he does not have to clean rather than the intrinsic value of the food.

This perceived image in society has become so complex that there exists type of dual-personality disorders. Once again, sitting on party table or someone’s kitchen or fridge, it makes things easier to observe. There are some people when they go outside with friends, they became so conscious of their image, that they would take food from someone’s else plate. They of course make sure to mention that they hate to waste food. Having played one role while safeguarding their social image, they come home for dinner. But for dinner there are different cravings and there is no social pressure to behave differently. They would order a meal from outside, as they were too tired to cook without any consideration to the food in their refrigerator that waited too long and gave up. Next morning this poor food goes into the bin without building any connection to the “socially triggered no-waste behavior” the day before. It would be the same person who would throw away a coffee because there was more water or less water or more milk or less milk or the person who made did not smile while delivering it.

All of these human behavior helps me prosper and spread my existence. I am ofcourse happy when I am the last one on the plate. It is like I rule the world around me. I am the last survivor. It is an amazing feeling and I am sure I as “the last bite” cannot tell it to a human how good it feels. Humans know better than anyone this feeling being the last survivor, being the winner. There are some places however, where they try to define some weird rules/principles to supress my existence. Something like the one who eats the last bite get something positive the next day or some other similar crap.

I do not know how my existence will continue, but will it be too selfish of me to think that humans reach a stage where every one has a plate of food and they all can afford to leave one of my kind; ” the last bite”?

Keep smiling


Arundeep Singh

Mulla Nasrudin was obviously envious of the rich man who had just given him a dollar. “You have no reason to envy me,” said the rich man, “even if I do look prosperous. I have my troubles, too, you know.” “YOU HAVE PROBABLY GOT PLENTY OF TROUBLES,” said Nasrudin, “BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS, I AIN’T GOT NOTHING ELSE, SIR.”