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Food Waste

Wasted food due to guest taking too much -- any solutions?


Not About Food Food Waste

Wasted food due to guest taking too much -- any solutions?

Maggiethecat | | Aug 7, 2014 12:52 PM

So here's my situation. My husband and I get together with a group of friends every other Sunday and most of the time, I provide at least some of the food. We and another member of our group are part of a meat-based CSA so a lot of times, we will combine one of our shares for me to make something that will feed a crowd of 8. For example, last time we got together, our friend and I each had a share of brisket that we combined and I made BBQ brisket sandwiches, homemade baked beans, and corn on the cob. Other times with appropriate cuts of meat, I have done stew with homemade bread. Sometimes we grill out, especially if we have sausage, and I'll do veggie kebabs and rice on the side. etc. The meals are very casual and relaxed, serve yourself style.

Another member of our group is a woman who, earlier this year, had surgery to alter her stomach. She had a gastric sleeve put in place, which is supposed to reduce how much she eats. Here's my conundrum. She still tends to take rather large portion sizes, nearly as large as the rest of our group (who, besides her and me, are all guys with very big appetites), eats maybe half of it (at most) and can't finish the rest. If I'm lucky, her husband will finish her plate for her, but sometimes by the time she has decided she is done, he has already gone back for seconds on his own and he doesn't want any more, so her plate will sit and the rest of her food gets tossed at the end of the day. Wasted food, especially food that I have put the time and effort into preparing, is at best an annoyance of mine, and is quickly growing into more than that. If it was something that happened a few times right after her surgery, I could understand as she was learning the limitations of her intake. However, it has now been several months since her surgery, and she consistently makes comments like, "Well I'm sure my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I won't be able to eat all this, but that's okay." and I just want to tell her "Actually, it's NOT okay."

I don't think it's a matter of her not appreciating how a home cooked meal is made. She frequently watches me in the kitchen and often offers to help. I know she does some amount of cooking herself. She, and the rest of the people in the group, always look forward to the meals, partly because they all work fulltime jobs and don't always have a chance to cook home cooked meals for themselves (a lot of them just don't have a lot of cooking knowledge, either.) I work from home, and a lot of dietary restrictions (lots of allergies, severe lactose intolerance, and a chronic stomach disease) have forced me to learn to be a pretty good cook and I cook about 95% of the food that me and my husband eat (not that I mind, even before my slew of dietary restrictions I liked cooking, for myself and for others.) I like to make food for people and I like it when the food I make, makes other people happy. When everyone leaves at the end of the day, I always get a lot of "thank yous" and "the food was great" and "we really appreciate the meal" from everyone. Everyone's plate is always empty...except for her's.

So, is there any good way to approach this? Should I just not let it bother me? Would it be really rude of me to ask her to take smaller portions, and that she can always go back for seconds if she does want more afterword?

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