Monthly Archives: February 2007

Breaking Even

Lately, we’ve been talking about restaurant’s increasing portion sizes, with the 2,020-calorie Chili’s fajita steak quesadilla with guacamole as the enormous entree poster child. But the bottom line is this: when we eat out, we waste more food. Considering the 1,600 to 2,800 recommended daily calorie intake, most restaurants give us way too much. Aside from the heavy […]

February 22, 2007 | Posted in Restaurant, Stats | Comments closed

Talk is Cheap, Food Cheaper

Let’s face it, food is cheap. It may not feel that way when you shop at Whole Foods, but it is when you compare today’s food prices to historical ones. How little we pay for food helps explain the lack of reluctance to waste it, i.e. that more than 40 percent of all food produced in the US is […]

February 20, 2007 | Posted in Household, Restaurant, Stats | Comments closed

Second Helpings

Let’s talk another bite out of portions. As we’ve discussed, larger portions mean people eat more, but also leave more behind. In today’s America, obesity and waste somehow go hand-in-hand.  In her all-encompassing book What to Eat, Marion Nestle tackles portions. Like a wise old aunt, she remembers the days when diners could finish their plate before it got cold. In […]

February 16, 2007 | Posted in Restaurant | Comments closed

Proportional Waste

Wasted Food reader Gloria recently wondered how the trend of gigantic portions will be reversed (here’s a fun quiz she’s forwarded to illustrate the problem). Value has become one of the areas in which they compete. From heavy Thickburgers to $12.99 three course meals, quantity is in vogue. Hopefully, this will change. But how? Given obesity levels, it would make […]

February 14, 2007 | Posted in Restaurant, School | Comments closed

Mindless Wasting II

I just finished reading Cornell food psychologist Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating. While the interesting book examines how Americans unwittingly eat more than we think we do, it provides plenty of fodder for wasted food discussion. For instance, Wansink examines portion size at restaurants. American obesity can be partly blamed on gigantic servings that are now […]

February 13, 2007 | Posted in Household, Restaurant | Comments closed

Mindless Wasting

I’ve been reading Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink’s fascinating book examining how and why many of our food decisions are subconscious ones. Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, studies the psychology of eating. I’d recommend perusing his past experiments at While his work focuses on getting people to eat less–a strategy I admire but […]

February 7, 2007 | Posted in Household, Restaurant | Comments closed