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Many of us have relatives who were apart of the Great Depression era, and the thought of food waste to them is obscene. They will eat every last lick on their plate, almost every time they eat due to their habits from growing up in a time when food was not always available. Now days, you are seeing more and more food waste because (as we all know) food is readily available to us whenever we want it. The notion of wasting less and wanting less is long gone, and we are now in a world where many people waste food because they have simply taken too much, or they are overly full.
While leaving food on your plate may seem “wasteful” it truly does not have to be, due to the fact that you can ask for a to-go box and have another meal waiting for you later on. The idea behind this piece of advice is to simply box up half (or more) of your meal especially if it is higher in calories, and see if you are satisfied with the amount you ate. The goal here is to not overstuff yourself and feel ill when you are leaving, but rather get a few bites of something delicious and call it good.
In many homes, the thought of leftovers is seen as “boring” or undesirable. Many people want to eat a fresh meal every time they sit down to eat, but in this day and age with the faster style of life that is not always possible. Leftovers save money, and they force you to not eat out and spend money. The main idea to take with you is to eat until you feel somewhat full. Never overdo it! Your stomach knows when it is time to stop (for the most part) so pay close attention as you are dining.
If you are worried about table manners while you are dining out, know that there are graceful ways to leave food on your plate without making yourself seem childish or rude. In some cultures it is seen as rude to clean your plate, as it makes the host seem like you were not given enough food. In American society, cleaning your plate is seen as a great thing because you are communicating that you enjoyed the meal. However, in both cases it is not seen as rude to eat a portion of the meal and then ask for a to go box. You are implying that you liked the meal and that you will enjoy it more at a later time.
This small practice will be a good test for you when trying to eat reduced portions and healthier foods daily. Not only will you be eating fewer calories, but you will also have a meal for the next time you want to sit down and eat. In no way is this seen as rude, so go ahead and be discreet about it and give it a shot!