If you are a food lover then I am sure you have tried your hands at fine dining, maybe you even went to those Michelin star restaurants where the food can be ten times as costly as at regular places.

While the taste of food at such exquisite places is absolutely in a class of its own, did you notice that the quantity of food served in these fine dining restaurants is only a fraction of what you get at normal places?

That is not only because such exotic dishes take a lot of time, effort and money to produce. The owners of such places are also onto a great secret. When the quantity is small, any food tastes excellent. In fact, a 2000-year-old Indian saying is: ”the lesser the quantity the tastier the food”. Yet, somehow most of us really overload our plates with the result that the taste goes for a six.

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We are not able to enjoy excess food and that is really shameful because the whole idea of a buffet lunch or dinner was that you can take just the right quantity.

In India, the earlier system was that you were served food in a Thali where the host put in as much food as he thought he should give you. So there was a lot of wastage. Buffet came in so that you can take just the right quantity as per your need. But in actual practice, today we are eating and wasting more food than we used to in the thali times.

You see, we tend to be a little selfish in these matters. Those people who are sensible eaters know that even if it is a lavish dinner you just have to pick up the right quantity of the right food. Supposing there is a choice of Indian and Chinese and continental and Lebanese and Thai cuisine, most sensible people would choose what they want to eat and then they will take just the right quantity but we have this funny notion of going to each and every stall and even if we take just one spoon of food from each, it can be a lot. When there is too much on your plate you are bound to overeat.

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So in our own interest, we have to cut down the portions; we have to take as little as possible if we care for about our health.

At the same time, this habit of loading our plates has ramifications for the whole humanity as well. What we must realise is that food is not just another commodity. Just because you have money, you cannot have too much of it because food that you eat or waste in a matter of ten minutes takes months to grow.

If you look carefully there are hundreds of people involved in making sure that you get your meal. Somebody cooked it, somebody brought the grains and beans and vegetables from the market, somebody sold it and most important the poor farmer grew it for several months. So you are insulting each one of them by taking more than what you should.

If a child takes too much it can be understandable but a grown-up has to be absolutely clear how much he wants to eat and how much is his capacity. It is a national wastage to grab more. It is all the more criminal in a country like India where millions of people go to bed without food. If only we can take the right quantity, we can feed those millions. So you will be doing a great service to yourself, your pocket and the whole human race if you know how much you should eat. Every time you are having any leftovers, you are going against humanity.

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There are simple tricks involved if you want to avoid food wastage. First of all if it is a buffet, pick up only half as much as you think you should. You can always visit the stalls again for a refill.

When you are going to a sit-down restaurant, ask the waiter to pack half of the food in a carry-home pack before It is brought to your table. You will find that this is more than enough for you.

If still, you happen to put too much on your plate, stop eating the moment your system says enough is enough. Even if it is healthy food like apples or nuts, you just cannot afford to have too much. Small is beautiful, the less the better should be your Mantra if you want to improve your health—physical, mental as well as emotional.


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