Thiruvalluvar, the renowned Tamil Saint, who has written the immortal work called 'Kural' or 'Thirukkural', used to keep by his side, when he sat for meals, a needle and a small cup filled with water. Once, his host asked him why he insisted on having these two placed by the side of the plate. He said: "Food should not be wasted.
Even a grain is precious. Sometimes, stray grains of cooked rice or stray peaces of cooked vegetables fall off the plate or away from it, while I eat. Then, I lift them off the floor with the help of this needle and stir them in the water to clean and eat them. What a great lesson this is for those who waste more than they consume!