I keep reminding friends and me during a meal when a heap of leftover would feed few poor children for a day. Some of us tend to order more than we could eat and that is where the waste of food and money arises.
Occasionally, we get invited or hosted a party at any posh restaurant or hotel and that’s where good food is served (depending on the Menu the host selected). A big smile on our face showed when seeing a long list of menu on the card and knowing most of our favourite food listed.
It started with the cold dish and in no time the plate is empty, even the decoration of leaves and flowers was snapped up. Then came the prawn’s butter, steamed codfish, Yam ring (yam baskets), spring chicken and vegetables as well as dessert. In no time after the fourth dish the focus on food slacken especially the vegetables and the fried rice.
Usually, the fried rice was barely touched and what about the other dishes half-finished and if we added about fifteen tables with many half-finished dish, surely could easily feed twenty people more. It is also a hotel’s policy that no take away are allowed and what a waste if really they throw away the leftover.
One old lady who prepared herself to ‘take away’ by bringing plastic bag, which was concealed inside her handbag, amused me. It was a wedding of my cousin’s daughter and I presume the old lady after attending functions at hotels or restaurant before was disappointed that there was so many leftover. We didn’t know the policy of the hotel was but we just tell the waiter to disregard what the old lady was doing with the food and some of the lady help with old lady stuffing the food inside the plastic bag.
I salute the bravely of the old lady for such untactful attitude but it would be advisable only with the attendance of people known to you at the table. In a private function among the family, leftover were taken away but not otherwise. In my case, I would not ‘ta pao’ but instead leave it with my siblings or cousin to do it.
I have been to many wedding, birthday and other celebrations and the habit of food wasting has not change. Like for instance my race Kadazan , they would prepare food double the invitations they send plus the not-counted families. They will not mind the leftover as long as there is no empty stomach that attended the function. The leftover can be taken back to the house for all you can eat at the house if the function was celebrated at the community hall.
We should change our wasteful custom and think of others especially hungry children in Africa and Asia. We are overfeeding our self.