I watch a lot of Food Network because I love cooking. One thing I don’t love is seeing shows about diners and restaurants that offer huge portions of food. There’s a serious problem in the US with both obesity and hunger, so it really bothers me to see anyone promoting giant portion sizes at eating establishments.
I know that we have a “more is better” mentality in this country, and food is very much a part of that. Everyone wants more food at lower prices, and restaurants are striving to meet that demand. I can’t count the number of places that I have seen on television whose claim to fame is having mega-sized portions or contests where the one who eats most gets their food for free. It’s something that really bothers me.
Now more than ever, we need to work on being a food-conscious nation. Those who can often eat too much, while at the same time people are starving due to a supposed lack of food. If there’s enough food to make gargantuan portions at diners and restaurants, there’s certainly enough to feed the hungry people in our country. And let’s face it, no matter what the media tells us, more isn’t always better.
I was watching one just a few days ago that served pecan sticky buns that weighed over a pound. Some people said that it easily fed 3-4 people. Why on earth do they feel a need to make such large portions? The owner, who was also the chef, laughed at the size and said it was better to be bigger. I guess she never thinks about how many people will eat the whole thing just because it’s served to them, and therefore become more unhealthy as a result.
Even at the places I have been to personally, the portions are often far too large. My last trip to a family restaurant left me with leftovers for two days. I’m smart enough to not gorge on the whole thing, but many people aren’t. It’s on their plate, so they will eat it all. This just adds to the mentality that people need to consume large portions to be full and happy and that excessive eating is normal.
I wish that all restaurants would cut back to more reasonable portion sizes. There’s no reason to serve so much unless the dish is intended to be shared. Show people what responsible portions look like. The cost per plate would be less and overeating would be reduced. People could always order another portion if they really felt the need, but most wouldn’t, since their minds would see one plate as one meal, and be happy.
And just think of how much food could be rerouted to those in need if the restaurants and diners weren’t wasting it on extra-large portions. There would be less waste, less cost, and all that extra food could be given to people who are truly hungry. As a society, we need to consider the messages that we’re sending to the public and take steps to create a healthier and more balanced culture.