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Subject: Food Waste rss

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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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Let's say that you go to a restaurant and you order your main meal.
It arrives and it is an enormous amount of food. More than you normally eat, or perhaps even more than you even want to eat.

Think "pasta entree", at most chain restaurants:


All for me?

Everything is delicious, but you eat for 15 minutes straight and still have a half a plate full of food, and now you need to come to a decision:

Poll
What would you do with a half a plate of food at this point?
Finish it off. I don't like to waste food.
Keep going, even though I'll be uncomfortably full. They aren't going to refund part of my $15 just because I stopped eating.
Eat until I'm stuffed, then ask them to box up the rest for me to take home.
Eat until I'm stuffed, then leave the rest for them to dispose of there.
Eat until I'm stuffed, box up the rest for me to take home, then throw it out the next day (or that same day).
Eat until I'm "full", then ask them to box up the rest for me to take home.
Eat until I'm "full", then leave the rest for them to dispose of there.
Eat until I'm "full", box up the rest for me to take home, then throw it out the next day (or that same day).
Stop, before I'm full, and ask them to box up the rest for me to take home.
Stop, before I'm full, and leave the rest for them to dispose of there.
Stop, before I'm full, box up the rest for me to take home, then throw it out the next day (or that same day).
Other?
      104 answers
Poll created by MABBY


Poll
Do you eat "leftovers", be it from a restaurant or home-cooked meals?
Leftovers is a thing??
Yes
Usually
Mostly but it really depends on what the food item is
Not usually but it really depends on what the food item is
Not often
Almost never
No
Other?
      103 answers
Poll created by MABBY


23% * of wasted food in America is leftovers or unwanted prepared food.

*so says a Washington Post article
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Andy Andersen
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Leftovers +50. If it was enough to eat today, it will be good enough to eat next month. shake
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jeff
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Wasting food is a pet peeve of mine, to the point that I don't like to peel potatoes for stuff, I will if needed but don't like to. Ever peel a whole bag of potatoes and you have a huge pile of peels that gets tossed in the trash, wasted... that was food that could have been eaten.

I am a very generous host and I'm more than happy to feed you well made food until you are bursting at the seams. I take a lot of pride in my cooking for people and go to efforts to make it the best regardless of who you are. My kitchen has an open door policy and if you're a guest in my house and you're hungry I will generally go to lengths to fix that. BUT..... please only take as much as you're going to eat. For example If I make a batch of something like chili or something for a game day and you eat the whole pot, fantastic I must have done a good job, but if you take a big bowl and only eat half and toss the rest that kills me and feels insulting.

I eat a LOT of leftovers. I usually make a big pot/pan/batch of something on the weekend so that I will have plenty left over for dinners during the week after work. Also... honestly, some of my favorite foods are better leftover and reheated.
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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When I was in Italy for 3 weeks, takeout containers/ "doggie bags" for leftover food at a nice restauarant were pretty much non-existent.
But the portion sizes were also a whole lot smaller than North American standards.

We actually tried, at one place in Florence.
The answer was "no".
Not, "Oh we don't do that here". Just "no".

(I'm not sure they even understood the concept. "Borse per cani?")

They did have dedicated places that specifically sold you prepared foods that you could take home and eat, or re-warm when you got home. But you couldn't sit and eat at these places (or else you sat at a tiny table on a stool (usually outside), which they charged you to use even though everything was paid for up-front).
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Kyle
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I eat leftovers and try not to cook something that will be more than 2 days of food for the wife and I. Stuff occasionally gets forgotten and lost though. Food waste is something I don't always succeed at preventing unfortunately, but I'd like to. It is throwing away money at bare minimum.
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Doctor Tom
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A good percentage of my diet [and hence body fat] is food my wife doesn't eat, be it from restaurant meals being too big, or me misjudging portions when cooking.
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Adrian Hague
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MABBY wrote:
But the portion sizes were also a whole lot smaller than North American standards.

This.

I'm sure many Europeans will agree, the food portion sizes in America are ridiculous. Hell, a child-sized meal from a U.S. restaurant is (in most cases) identical if not larger than most adult-sized meals served in most European restaurants.
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Larry Levy
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My biggest single problem with weight control is I tend to eat every morsal of food in front of me. I will eat until I'm stuffed, often uncomfortably so, not because the food is so good, but just because it's there. It's a terrible habit, but the easiest way for me to deal with it is to limit the amount of food I put on my plate. That isn't possible in a restaurant, so I often overeat whenever we go out. Another good reason to eat at home!
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Boaty McBoatface
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All depends on what it is.

Chicken will get re-used once, twice if I can find away to re-cook separately, but only if no more then a couple of days old.

Vegetables I will keep in the fridge and reuse for about a week.

I never taken a doggy bag, you have no idea how long they have stored it (or in what conditions).
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M C
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slatersteven wrote:
All depends on what it is.

Chicken will get re-used once, twice if I can find away to re-cook separately, but only if no more then a couple of days old.

Vegetables I will keep in the fridge and reuse for about a week.

I never taken a doggy bag, you have no idea how long they have stored it (or in what conditions).


I don't understand your concerns about the doggy bag. Are you concerned about the bag itself? Then wouldn't you have the same concerns related to the food storage in the restaurant, the items they used in preparation/cross contamination, and you have no idea how they clean/store/prepare plates and utensils? You would never be able to have take out food for the same container concern.

The only concern I have with taking home a doggy bad is if I'm going straight home or not. If I'm going straight home I'm not concerned, but if I am going out after I eat I don't take a doggie bag then because hot food sitting has the potential of all sorts of nastiness.

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As long as it's eatable and tasty, I will eat it.
Throwing away tasty and eatable food is ..... is ..... is .... seems I don't have a word for that.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Laudwic wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
All depends on what it is.

Chicken will get re-used once, twice if I can find away to re-cook separately, but only if no more then a couple of days old.

Vegetables I will keep in the fridge and reuse for about a week.

I never taken a doggy bag, you have no idea how long they have stored it (or in what conditions).


I don't understand your concerns about the doggy bag. Are you concerned about the bag itself? Then wouldn't you have the same concerns related to the food storage in the restaurant, the items they used in preparation/cross contamination, and you have no idea how they clean/store/prepare plates and utensils? You would never be able to have take out food for the same container concern.

The only concern I have with taking home a doggy bad is if I'm going straight home or not. If I'm going straight home I'm not concerned, but if I am going out after I eat I don't take a doggie bag then because hot food sitting has the potential of all sorts of nastiness.

All of it, also whether it would be safe to re-heat it. It is the issue of keeping and storing it. If I intend to eat it straight away after I got home, fine, but then why would I not eat it there and then (I am not going to be significantly less full after even an hours journey home).

I assume if you cannot eat any more you are not going to eat any more that night.

As to take aways, generally you are fairly safe (we do have laws and such forth), most have enough common sense to not break too many food hygiene regulations (which is the point, they will often push the envelope, you taking a doggy bag it going way outside it).

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Christopher Seguin
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Totally depends on the food. I will eat leftover pizza as old as 6 or 7 days after it was prepared - as long as it was kept in the fridge. Plain or marinated chicken breast will go 2 or 3 days - it's amazing what a good BBQ sauce can do to keep food tasting fresh. My wife also makes a really good chicken and rice casserole that I will eat a few days later as well. Must just be chicken in general that I am willing to re-eat a few days later.

Vegetables, on the other hand? Hell no! I won't even eat them at the time they are prepared, let alone as a "leftover"! Blech! Give me cold vegetables straight out of the fridge already packaged and I will take out what I want and put the package back in the fridge - that's the only acceptable way to each vegetables for me!

I will usually completely consume restaurant food in it's entirety while still at the restaurant. Something about restaurant food that just doesn't compare to home cooked food in terms of "viable longevity". Reheating restaurant food does not appeal to me whatsoever (unless it was the aforementioned pizza - that's about it).
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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Do you know what I tend to waste the most?
Packaged deli meats.

For one, I'm the only one who eats them at all in our home. So having 12 slices of ham or turkey, no matter how thinly sliced, is an issue for me.
The other thing is that 12 slices is 3 sandwiches worth for me, and I like variety. I'll have a bun with meat on it maybe twice a week, at most.

But the packaged ones last longer in the fridge than freshly cut ones, direct from the deli counter. For some reason, those get slimey or start to smell funny after a day or two in the fridge.

I had a roommate who would eat boglogna even if it had some green tint on the edges, from being in the fridge too long. gulp

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Wendell
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I cook dinner PLANNING on there being leftovers. That becomes my lunch for the next day or two.
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MABBY wrote:
Think "pasta entree", at most chain restaurants
And here's the rub: Most chain restaurant food is garbage. Packed with salt, sugar, preservatives, and shipped pre-cooked only to be reheated and tossed on your plate in a manner that ensures it's only attractively edible for about 10 minutes. After that you might as well throw it out, because it's not like it's your grandma's cooking from scratch, it's a melted mess of meat parts, gooified cheese, and salt.

And no one wants to eat that shit.
Not even the first time.
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jeff
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Whats your lowest moment of eating leftover takeout or dine out food that was barely edible??

Iv'e eaten left over cold, mostly soggy nachos... granted it was very late night/early morning and I was 3/4 in the bag drunk, but I did it, and it was tasty and it hit the spot.

I've also come home from work, exhausted, frustrated, worn out and beat down and have eaten cold, soggy, limp, left over steak fries and fried fish (fish & chips) while standing in front of the fridge, in a suit and tie.

If I'm hungry and tired I don't give a crap, i'll eat anything.

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Jerry Martin
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I guess I am slightly surprised that no one has had my experience.

My answer to your first poll would be:

I never find that the food at a restaurant is enough to make me really full. I can't think of a time in my adult life that I have food left over at a restaurant.

Maybe if I didn't really like the food, but never because I was full. I should note I rarely go out to chain food places, I "never" go out to fast food unless I have no other choice, we typically go to locally owned
places.

The only time I ever feel full is on Thanksgiving.

Yes, I am overweight, but not extremely overweight. 20-30 lbs of where I would like to be.

The answer to the second question is quite different. I eat homemade leftovers multiple times a week. We intentionally make extra food so I can take it for lunch at work.

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Syvanis wrote:
I guess I am slightly surprised that no one has had my experience.

My answer to your first poll would be:

I never find that the food at a restaurant is enough to make me really full. I can't think of a time in my adult life that I have food left over at a restaurant.

Maybe if I didn't really like the food, but never because I was full. I should note I rarely go out to chain food places, I "never" go out to fast food unless I have no other choice, we typically go to locally owned
places.

And you live in America? For real? I find that I often get more food than I want. My wife and I used to always order an appetizer and an entree, and split both, because two entrees was too much for us; and this was not at a chain restaurant! Lunches are awful too, so often at lunch you get what feels like a large dinner and it's lunchtime. My company pays for lunch delivery every day, but frankly the huge portions make me sad so I end up bringing in lunch most of the time anyway.

(And to compare to your comment - I'm definitely on the thin side, but that's partly because I've learned to leave food behind when I get a big portion. I was heavier in the past.)
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Jerry Martin
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Yep, right in Colorado.

I guess that is why you are thin and I am fat.
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John O'Haver
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I rarely cook. When I do prepare something at home I don't fix more than I can eat in one sitting. When I dine out with one of my two best friends, both are women, we usually agree to split an entre so there are no left overs and we can dine a little more upscale without breaking the bank.

When with a guy friend, we don't split and I clean my plate. But I don't go to the upscale joints like I do with the ladies.

If I ever bring home left overs they generally get thrown out much later than they should have been.
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+1 for the make extra specifically for lunch brigade.

Curry especially is often improved by being leftover.

On food wastage. I knew a woman who had a restaurant where you got charged if there was leftover food on your plate. She had a thing about food wastage, it was part of the deal of eating there. Order what you need only.

I dont think the restaurant lasted very long.

Then of course famously in some cultures leaving food on your plate is the way you signal to your host that you've had enough. Their hospitality is impugned if they can't provide enough food to get you to the point where you have to leave some.
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Andy Leber
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Syvanis wrote:
I guess I am slightly surprised that no one has had my experience.

My answer to your first poll would be:

I never find that the food at a restaurant is enough to make me really full. I can't think of a time in my adult life that I have food left over at a restaurant.

Maybe if I didn't really like the food, but never because I was full. I should note I rarely go out to chain food places, I "never" go out to fast food unless I have no other choice, we typically go to locally owned
places.

The only time I ever feel full is on Thanksgiving.

Yes, I am overweight, but not extremely overweight. 20-30 lbs of where I would like to be.

The answer to the second question is quite different. I eat homemade leftovers multiple times a week. We intentionally make extra food so I can take it for lunch at work.



Me to a tee. Maybe 20lbs overweight and eat more than I need to, but never have leftovers from a restaurant. But on the rare occasion it happens, I'll certainly take it home to eat the next day.

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Christopher Seguin
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MABBY wrote:
Do you know what I tend to waste the most?
Packaged deli meats.

For one, I'm the only one who eats them at all in our home. So having 12 slices of ham or turkey, no matter how thinly sliced, is an issue for me.
The other thing is that 12 slices is 3 sandwiches worth for me, and I like variety. I'll have a bun with meat on it maybe twice a week, at most.

But the packaged ones last longer in the fridge than freshly cut ones, direct from the deli counter. For some reason, those get slimey or start to smell funny after a day or two in the fridge.

I had a roommate who would eat boglogna even if it had some green tint on the edges, from being in the fridge too long. gulp



When you go to the deli, just buy smaller quantities. I usually only get enough deli meats for one, possibly two meals, at a time. That way it won't go to waste, and it is always fresh.

As it relates to "slimy" lunch meats from the deli, I presume that your local deli uses those "paper sheets" to provide a barrier between the food and the scale (to avoid cross contamination). Then they scoop up the meat with the sheet and shove everything in the ziplocked baggie.

It's the "sheets" that are turning your deli counter meats "slimy". I always throw mine out the moment the deli worker hands me the package. I have found that by discarding those sheets, I can get 2 or 3 extra days out of fresh deli meats.
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Christopher Dearlove
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When I realised it was too much I'd stop eating the pasta and finish the prawns and other meat stuff, leaving pasta behind. If I realised when first served, I'd just plan to only eat part of the pasta from the start.

(It's a compromise child of parents who remembered wartime rationing thing. Wasting food bad. Wasting meat, wicked.)
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