Buffets and eating habits

What is it with people who order more food than they can eat? Now, I understand that for à la carte dining, you can simply take your food home and eat it later (although actually remembering to eat the leftovers is another story). But you're not really supposed to take buffet food home (at least without paying more for it). Some buffet places will charge you more if you leave food behind; I think it's a great idea. People should not be encouraged to waste food in general, but when it's at the restaurant's expense, this should be doubly discouraged.

My point about eating what you've ordered is not about stuffing food down your gullet and gaining 50 kg in the process. I don't advocate overeating in general, and definitely not in a buffet context (I say this as someone who had overeaten at buffets too often in the past). The idea of a buffet is that you can choose how much to put on your plate. Most good buffets let you go on multiple trips. Make use of it!

By which, I don't mean stuff your plate on the first go, then the second, then the third, and so on (unless you actually want to eat that much food, and can fit it all in). I mean, put a little on your plate each time, and top up while you're still hungry.

I'm now going to go off on a rant about parents who make kids eat everything on their plate, and give them huge complexes about it. This is, in my rather arrogant opinion, a terrible habit to teach kids. Kids should learn not to waste food, yes, but the lesson they should learn is to not bite off more they can chew (and in fact, when they do order more than they can eat, they should learn to keep the food overnight to eat another day), rather than that they should eat everything, as such. The latter approach will make them overeat, then discover that they're getting much, much fatter than they want to be, and (later on in life) start leaving tons of food on their plates to compensate for the emotional trauma they've gone through.

Remember, less is more. There, I'm done ranting. :-)

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