Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Simple Suggestion #194... Ask for smaller portions

I have been looking and looking for a quotation that is eluding me. Perhaps you know it and can send it my way. It goes something like this:
Of food and drink and victuals and stuff, a bit too little is about enough. 
I suspect it's another saying by that prolific writer, Anonymous. Regardless of its exact wording or who wrote it, it fits perfectly with today's suggestion, brought to you by my daughter, Suzanna, who suggested this topic.

She and I had a girl's weekend back in September, and went out for breakfast on the Saturday morning, a bit later than usual. Feeling very hungry, she ordered the Farmer's Grill -- the breakfast plate with pancakes, sausages, bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, toast and I'm not sure what all else. When it arrived, we quickly realized that it was enough for two of us. She looked at me helplessly, and tucked in, but there was no way that she was going to clear her plate, and I couldn't help her because I had ordered my own meal. Because we were staying at a retreat house and had no access to a refrigerator, we couldn't take away the extras. Suzanna said, "That was just too much food for any one person to eat. Why do they make such huge portions?"

Why indeed? I can't help but think that a big oil worker from Fort Mac would have had trouble finishing it all... and as I looked around the restaurant, I noticed a lot of people pushing away plates still holding too much food.

The thing is, there are people all over the world who don't get enough to eat -- and here we are, wasting too much on a regular basis. Somebody somewhere once told me that it was impolite to eat everything on my plate -- that I should leave a morsel or two to show that I had some self-control. But for me, self-control is evident when I take a smaller portion of something, rather than leave food to waste.

I'm not going to rail on about the amount of food wasted by North Americans. What I am going to suggest is that we always take restaurant leftovers home for the next day's meal, and that we start asking for smaller portions in food establishments that insist upon offering huge servings. Some places are already catching on to this idea, offering half-portions on their lunch menus. Of course, their half-portions are probably the perfect size for suppers, calorie-wise! If enough of us started asking to have reasonably sized meals served in restaurants, perhaps the Super-size Me world would get the message that we don't need to overeat -- especially if there's dessert on the menu!

So here's the challenge -- the next time you eat out and find that the plate you've ordered offers more than an ordinary stomach can hold (make two fists, hold them knuckles together, and you've got the size of your stomach, more or less), ask to speak to the manager. Let her or him know that you would very much like it if, the next time you came in, you could order a half-portion of your menu item. See what happens. Even if nothing does, if we make the statement often enough, eventually it will be heard, and less food will go to waste. I hope.

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Click here.

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