Filed under: Food + Health, J500 Week 13, Society + Media, Waste + Recycling | Tags: big portions, eating out, obesity, portion sizes, restaurant portion sizes, restaurants, SuperShrink
“Are you gonna eat that?”–the question that always seems to come up after a meal shared with friends. And it usually comes from me.
You might be thinking I’m just an incredibly hungry, insatiable 20 year old male, but the truth is, I ask to help finish people’s plates because I hate waste so much.
Growing up, I was always taught the idea of a “happy plate.” Finish all that you were served, no matter if it was meat, potatoes, vegetables or pudding, time at the table wasn’t done until everything was eaten up. And this didn’t seem to be a challenge for my sister and I as children, one because we were decent eaters and not particularly picky, but also because Mom never over served us, making sure we had just the right of food on our plates.
While it wasn’t until later I ever heard the threat of “there are starving kids in Africa, eat your food!”, I just knew it was my duty to finish what I was given, and that value has stuck with me ever since.
In a culture where restaurants serve way too much,
it’s hard not to waste. It’s not always practical (or possible) to ask for that doggy bag, but when possible, dinner the night before often makes a great lunch the next day. In reality, though, restaurants really should be making portions smaller to avoid such blatant waste. I don’t think customers would complain really, either. How many times has a waiter come to your table to ask about dessert and you have to deny them on the basis of your stomach already being at carrying capacity? No wonder obesity is such an issue.
With eating out being something Americans just don’t seem to want to give up, restaurants should respond by offering healthier, smaller portions of their food at least an option. The restaurants would save money, and the consumers could save some pounds.
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