Finish your Food

Growing up was all about lessons. From learning to walk to what is right and wrong. Invariably the lessons would turn to food. Any parent would vouch for the fact that food is a big part of a child’s growing up years. How do you not bring your child up  on a diet of chocolates. Among all this was an innocuous sounding “finish what is on your plate, we don’t waste food; there are many who don’t get to eat.” Of course, this was axiomatic. Held true then, holds true now.

The past century has been a golden age for mankind. In spite of the wars, famines and conflicts, mankind has progressed. A large majority do not want for food anymore. If you are reading this, chances are you are among them. What then of the lessons learned? Should you be finishing what ever is on your plate? Remember, often, this includes finishing what is on the plate of your spouse, child, parent et al.

Even two decades ago, we witnessed shortages. It did not matter if you lived in Dubai, Seoul, or Delhi, progress was still manifesting. It was natural for beliefs to include the finish your food rule. Long term, this may have ended up doing more harm than good. It is surprising how little we understand portion size and its correlation to calorific value. 50 gms of tofu and 50 gms of cottage cheese may look and feel the same but have very different calorific values. A tsp of olive oil may not fill you up, but packs a punch in food energy. You only need to look at the waist of your fellow passengers. Need I say more?

It is not my argument that we should waste. Instead, be mindful before you put it on your plate. Do not feel compelled to finish the meal of all the passengers on your flight. They have their own struggles, really! If your mom still says it, tell her that her lesson has outlived its sell by date.