There is a prohibition not to be wasteful. There is also a prohibition not to overeat. If a person was full, and the rest of the food was going to go to waste, is it better to discard perfectly good food, or better to overeat in order to not waste?

In order that no one attempt to avoid the underlying issue by finding a way not to waste the food, let's assume that the subject is stranded on a desert island with no other forms of life to which he could feed this food or use it for any constructive purpose.

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    The minhag in my shul is that bal tashchis trumps achila gasa. – Yitzchak Jul 29 '14 at 2:45
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    בעל תשחית דגופאי עדיף – Ish Ploni ViKohen Jul 29 '14 at 2:46
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    @IshPloniViKohen and YEZ -- see here (masechta Shabbos source for בל תשחית דגופא) and here – MTL Jul 29 '14 at 3:46
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    My oma always said "Your stomach is not a garbage can." Don't know if that qualifies as ancient Jewish wisdom – Jewels Jul 29 '14 at 11:46
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    I do not see any conflict between the two. One is not supposed to overeat, nor is one supposed to be wasteful. Not eating something does not mean you wasted it. – Gershon Gold Jul 30 '14 at 1:54

The gemara in Shabbos says (140b)

בל תשחית דגופא עדיף
Damaging (lit. בל תשחית [lit. destruction]) of one's body is more important [than בל תשחית of food]

(translation mine)

Seems pretty simple that if overeating is harmful to a person's body (which it is), it should be avoided even at the cost of wasting food.

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    Also seems clear that it is still called wasting it to not eat it (unlike the assumption of several of the comments on the question), even if it is the preferred choice. – Y     e     z Sep 2 '14 at 19:00
  • @Yez Maybe not, since the gemara's case is of what to eat, and if you eat cheaper food or more expensive, by eating expensive food you are waisting money, but then it concludes that the cheaper food is bad for your body, so it is OK to waist money and buy more expensive food sefaria.org/Shabbat.140b.9 (tell me if I am wrong) – hazoriz Jan 10 '18 at 22:34
  • I think you're missing something, @hazoriz. (HI!!! It's been a while!) Y ez read (correctly, IMO) in my answer that even tho there is still BT involved in a situation where quality food (and, a fortiori, food), it is more important not to harm your body. The way we're reading Shabbos 140B is "the BT of your body is more important [than BT of food]." – MTL Jan 11 '18 at 3:36
  • If there would be no food-BT involved, then there's nothing nothing for body-BT to be more important than. I'm not sure what you saw in the Sefaria translation that contradicted our reading. cc @Yez – MTL Jan 11 '18 at 3:38
  • (alaihem shalom) I do not understand, to me it seemed yez wrote that from here he sees, that not eating something can be B"Y, it is just that you should not eat it if it is bad for your body. but I see no evidence that this is true. To me it seems that the B"T is from (doing an active act of destroying by) eating the expensive food, (or the active act of destroying your body by eating cheap food), the reason I got here was because of my new question judaism.stackexchange.com/q/88464/5120 – hazoriz Jan 11 '18 at 8:30

Rabbi Binyomin Gruber* told me personally that it is better to throw out food than to overeat.

* Best reference to know who he is that I could find, if someone has a better one, please share


Per Halachafortoday.com

Q: In reference to today’s question about baal tashchis vs. achilas gasa- I always have a similar question, how can one throw out food that became unusable due to kabalistic reasons (a peeled onion, food under a bed that someone slept on, a drink left uncovered over night) does the kabbalistic reason overrule baal tashchis which is a clear aveirah? A: Peeled onions, drink left uncovered etc. is not just for Kabalistic reasons. These things are brought in the Gemara, and brought as Halacha in the Aruch Hashulchan, Mogen Avraham and other Poskim. The reason for their being prohibited is that they are a danger to the one who may eat it. As such is isn’t an Aveirah to throw out something which is harmful to you. As one of my daily readers who is a Talmid Chacham with Semicha reminded me upon seeing my answer,the Gemara says “Bal Tashchis D’Gufa Adif- the wasting of one’s body is more important than wasting food”


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