We were on one of our regular burger date nights, ordering the usual down at the local Grill’d, burger and cider each, with a regular fries to share. Everything was going well, both enjoying our burgers, cider taking the edge off a tough day at work. Then it happened, a bit over half way through the fries and I called it; “I can’t eat any more.” E was obviously full as well. I looked at her and said “well I guess that’s $5 for the jar”.
That was the response from E. She really didn’t want to pay for the left over chips, which opened the discussion on how to handle eating out. Sure, it’s not our fault that a chef served too many chips with the parma, or that they were generous and served a whole avocado with breakfast. But if one of the motivations to stop food wastage was because there are people that don’t have enough, then it’s not their fault the chef put too much on my plate either.
So how to handle eating out. Firstly consider how big the serve is going to be. You can always order more of something later. Sometimes though, you just get unlucky, as E did a few weeks after our chip night. For lunch at work one day she bought herself a salad and while ok in taste, was served with far too many red onions in the mix. No matter how hungry you are, there is a limit to how many red onion slices you eat in one sitting. Especially during the work day!
Most people would think that paying $5 for leaving those red onions is too harsh, that they draw the line at salad filler. For me it depends on how you are looking at it. Overtime we will hopefully be able to build a list of places that serve good quality, reasonable size dishes. And in the meantime, I’m happy to pay the price to cross those other establishments off my list.
It’s funny, this is almost always the first question that people ask when we tell them about our little project, what about a worm farm. Obviously we are not explaining it very well, which is one of the reasons for this site. After the initial reaction and then our further attempts to explain the project we are often met with a blank stare. Maybe this shows people’s approach to waste and maybe how we as a race approach problems in general. Instead of looking at the cause of the waste and ways to limit it, our thoughts go to what to do with the waste once we’ve created it. Even recycling to a certain extent is a problem solution, not a preventative measure.
Maybe E and I are just really, REALLY bad shoppers and the reason we are met with confusion is because people just don’t understand why we have any food leftover at all. Personally I don’t think that we are, I think we all can get caught up in a rush of excitement to try something new, or to eat a bit better which will result in foreign food in the fridge. Or my weakness, that dreaded 2 for 1 deal.
So why aren’t we doing a worm farm. Well for starters, we live in an apartment with a small balcony. Not a lot of room or need for one. There is only so much compost our friends and family can take. Plus, I don’t really want to transport compost around town. Who wants to be know as the crazy compost guy! Another reason is I didn’t think of it, or dissmissed it quickly. E and I are a bit quirky so maybe a worm farm just seemed to boring or obvious or just not us.
But for me the main reason is that the worm farm is an easy out. It doesn’t make you change your actions. It doesn’t give you empathy for others less fortunate. It’s not going to help when we are eating out. The worm farm is great for carrot peel, but it’s not going to make us a more considerate consumer.