08 May 2010

Not wasting food

I've previously written about wasting food. In commercial operations like catering and restaurants, there are charities that make good use of unsold or untouched food to help those in need. In Australia, OzHarvest is one such charity.

What is still a problem, are diners at restaurants who do not finish their meals and who do not ask take home the leftovers. One restaurant in Sydney has come up with a workable and innovative solution. It asks diners to finish their meals if they wish to return in future. Reported in Sydney Morning Herald

CHEF Yukako Ichikawa cooked up a radical solution to food waste after a favourable newspaper review brought too many of the wrong kinds of diners to her restaurant door.

''They are picky eaters. I do not want to make food for these people,'' said Ichikawa, 42, who turns away customers not in tune with her homespun philosophy of eating, which partly derives from her horror about a world where people die from hunger.

Six weeks ago, at Wafu, her 30-seat restaurant in Surry Hills, she began offering a 30 per cent discount to patrons who ate all the food they had ordered.

She and her staff tell diners that if they do not leave clean plates, they will not be welcome back. ''Finishing your meal requires that everything is eaten except lemon slices, gari (sushi ginger) and wasabi,'' says the menu, which is tagged ''guilty-free Japanese food''.

''Please also note that vegetables and salad on the side are NOT decorations; they are part of the meal too,'' it says.

Wafu serves authentic Japanese food that is gluten free, wheat free, dairy free and organic.

It's a wonderful idea and one that could be adopted by other commercial premises serving meals. In the case of buffets, patrons could be encouraged not to pile food on to their plates.

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