July 27, 2006

Don't Supersize Me

With Tony Blair speaking out this week on how we should all take responsibility for our health (though he's looking decidedly peaky these days – perhaps a long rest is in order?) how come it's cheaper to buy more food than it is to buy less? I'm not joking. You couldn't make it up.

Last night I met a friend in Leamington for dinner at a lovely restaurant called Case Valle. On a hot, sunny evening, sitting in the covered conservatory area was a real pleasure. The homemade, non–chain food on offer sounded very tempting, particularly as there was a special early–evening offer: any rice or pasta plus salad and a drink for £9.99. We both decided to plump for the chicken and mushroom risotto. I asked for a starter sized portion, which the menu offered, knowing I rarely can chomp my way through a full restaurant plateful and the food just ends up in the bin.

But the bin was exactly where some of my risotto ended up. Apparently I couldn't order a smaller portion of risotto because starters weren't included in the offer. The cost of a starter–sized portion, a salad and a white wine spritzer came to well over £9.99. Now, although I'm trying to be more eco–friendly, reduce my food miles and eliminate waste, it seemed daft to pay more for less. I went for the £9.99 offer. So some of my huge portion of admittedly very delicious risotto went to waste.

Here's a suggestion: how's about restaurants routinely offering different sizes of portions at different prices? Eat less and pay less – think of all that food that wouldn't end up in the bin.

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