There is a mandarin in the fruit bowl. I have been watching it for the last four days. I know it is going to become money in the waste jar. Deep down I know this.

The mandarin was bought by G because I asked him to. I had been suffering for a cold for a few days and began craving foods that were orange. Then on a tram trip into the city to meet my mum, I sat across from a man eating a mandarin. The smell was so delicious and comforting. I began to feel my sniffle dry up instantly. So what else to do but send G a text “Not that I’m asking you to, but if you happen to go to the market today, can you get me some mandarins?”

Now, if I was truly conscious of my waste habits I would have 1) asked G if he wanted any, 2) calculated an exact amount of how many we might eat before they went bad, 3) already had mandarins on a shopping list, 4) not asked G at all and just picked up a mandarin for a street vendor in the city … if I really wanted a mandarin that desperately.

Turns out G doesn’t even like mandarins. Something I think I knew but didn’t really consider.

He bought ten. I have now eaten them all but one.

This one, this last one, started to get a little brown patch around the top a couple of days ago. And instead of eating it when the spot first appeared, I chose a different, better looking mandarin from my little collection. And again the next day, and the next until I have only the ugly one left.

A few days ago I realised this is like a micro version of supermarket shelves. Everyone picking the beautiful fruit first until only the ugly spotted and perhaps (but not always) inedible fruits are left. I also speculated that this process happens more than once in the lifetime of the fruit; on the farm, in the storage, in the supermarket and yes, in our homes.

But I still continued to put the poor sucker back, and now the once little brown patch is about a fifth of the total skin surface.

Obviously, I am only at the comprehension and not quite the application phase of this journey. But that’s okay. There is much to learn.