You Can Dish it Out, but You Better Eat It

Our parents always told us to lick our platters clean—or else! Don’t we know that there are starving children in the world who would love to have that chicken nugget, dollop of mashed potatoes, or bowl of Brussels sprouts?

Now, some restaurateurs in Hong Kong are adopting the same parent-like policies. But instead of threatening diners with no dessert or post-meal playtime, they’re charging customers extra for leftover food on plates. Oddly enough, the hard-line, eat-your-veggies-and-everything-else stance may help curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Entrée extras that aren’t taken home in doggie bags get thrown away, and ultimately wind up in landfills. Once the leftovers start to rot, they emit methane, one of the six greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

Even though restaurateurs can’t limit how much food diners choose to order (I mean what are they, our mothers?), they can make them think twice about biting off more than they can chew.

From a Christian Science Monitor article:

Some restaurant owners here are also taking aim at the pocketbooks of diners whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs. Such customers are most common at Hong Kong’s “hot pot” restaurants that offer “all you can eat” for a fixed price. Customers often order far more dishes to boil in a “hot pot” of broth than they are able to consume, and everything they leave has to be thrown away. That is not just wasteful; it is unprofitable for restaurateurs. One restaurant charges HK$5 (US64 cents) per ounce of leftovers.

After all this talk of leftover food and global warming, we just have one question for you: Would you really like to super size that?