Saturday, September 02, 2006

Eating in America

Its all about the size. After a long time i am eating a burger. Once a regular part of my food group and diet, the burgers from the omnipresent McDs, BK and Wendys were all given up almost 2-3 years ago, in an effort to focus on more important things in life. And it hasnt been easy, but neither has it been impossible to live.

So, as i sat to eat my dinner tonite with family at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant, and after thanking all the gods for the food on my plate, i start devouring it. It was all gone in about less than 5, maybe 10 minutes flat. Mind you unlike the advertisements and pictures from the fast-food chains, the picture above does justice to what is actually served on your plate. Throw in a quick visit to the salad bar before the food came to the table. And in all for less than 15$ or so, i ate more food in that one meal than i ate that whole day. I cant completely blame that on my food provider. I have developed this bad habit of gorging one meal and starving during all others. Its not new, its been on for several years.

But as i was eating, i for a brief moment compared the portions on my plate, with what i would have gotten if i had ordered the same in India. Mind you, India is not far behind, and is fast catching up in providing choices to the consumer, actually providing more choices than are necessary. But then again the key difference was, the portion. This was a huge serving, and is normally the case in most american restaurants. It actually seems to be feature here in north-america, as opposed to eating in Europe (been to UK and Germany) or India.

Generous portions. They dont serve you pittance. They believe in filling your stomach to the fullest at each meal. No one goes hungry in America, atleast not the ones who can afford it. The good thing about the restaurant and people here in America is that left overs are not completely wasted. The restaurant is quick to ask ' Do you want it boxed?', and the patron is not shy about doing it either. This is in direct contrast to eating habits (again this is changing) in India, were left overs from the plates in the restaurant are most times destined to the trash. And that is a sad fact. Specially with the numbers on the wrong side bigger in India than in most other places in the world.

I am thankful, that i part of the crowd that can afford this largesse. I am also thankful to have lived in this country, which helped me quickly overcome any resistance to boxing food from the table. Now, if i could only consume a little less myself, i could do my part in helping this planet.

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