On Sunny Lane: Don't Waste Food - Part I of II

When I was little, Mom used to tell me not to waste food. It was one of her 25 commandments.

She didn't call them commandments and there may, or not, have been 25 of them. It seemed like it, though. She would just say, "It's a sin to ... (fill in the blank)." In this particular case, it was food.

I was a picky eater. I would go hungry rather than eat something I didn't like. Mom would say, "Think about those poor, starving children in Africa."

Well, I did think about it, but I didn't think it was practical to send my lunch to them.

I don't remember what happened to the food I didn't eat. My older brother probably ate it. In fact, he tried to eat the food I did like. He told me gory stories as I was eating in hopes that they would upset my stomach and I wouldn't want to eat. It didn't work. Once I made up my mind, there was no turning back.

Fortunately, I expanded my repertoire by the time I graduated from high school and now there's hardly anything I won't eat. In fact, when I was a young adult, my appetite became voracious. I would eat everything on my plate and look for more.

Times have changed again. When Sweetheart and I eat at a restaurant, we find that there is more to a meal than we can comfortably eat.

We have tried different ways to handle too much food on our plates. We have asked for a to-go box for what we couldn't eat. We have left the full to-go box on the table in the restaurant and in the car overnight.

We have put it in the refrigerator and forgotten about it. Besides, Sweetheart says the food doesn't taste as good after we bring it home anyway. On the other hand, some people think it tastes better.

We have tried ordering the senior portions listed on some menus, but the restaurant doesn't always have the entrees we like in smaller portions.

We have finally decided that the best way for us to handle it is to order one meal and split it down the middle. We know we run the risk of people thinking we are too poor or too cheap to buy separate meals, but we are willing to do that.

It turns out that half a meal is plenty for each of us. That way the meal is more enjoyable and we don't stuff ourselves.

Plates with large servings coming out to the table sure do look impressive and my friends boast about the large portions they get. Then they say they bring leftovers home because it is enough for two meals. I wonder if restaurants could save money by cutting down on their portions and charging less.

I'm sure they would save money on to-go boxes.

Part II next week.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at dorothybutzknight@gmail.com

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