Both of my parents watched siblings starve to death.
Imagine how that would change your relationship with food. It’s difficult to grasp, living in modern America, where the feed trough never ends.
This is how I became a fat kid. I was conditioned to overeat from childhood; I was eating for myself as well as for the ghosts who darken my parents’ memories.
What I finally figured out, decades into adulthood, is that throwing away food is okay, because most of what comes on your plate isn’t actually food, or barely meets the definition.
This is particularly true of restaurant meals where literally half the plate might be filled with some cheap, starchy carb like potatoes or rice. Plating your meal this way improves the presentation, making it seem like you got a huge value. However, the net nutritional profile of these filler foods is extremely poor. If you’re diabetic, inflamed, or gluten intolerant, than plate fillers are essentially toxic for you.
The picture above shows something I ordered recently at a local diner. I ordered “catfish breakfast” which comes with two pieces of toast and hashbrowns. I specifically requested, “no toast or potatoes”, expecting only a piece of fish on a plate. The waitress only heard “no toast” so I got this plate loaded with potatoes.
In the old days I would have eaten the potatoes, loosened my belt, and found some place to lie down and ride out the insulin bath. But that doesn’t make any sense. Why eat something that’s going to make me fat and sick? That’s not food. That’s poison.
So instead, I just ate the fish and left the plate as you see it. I don’t feel remotely guilty about wasting food. I’m saving myself!
How about you? Are you a member of the “clean plate club?” Do you feel a pang of guilt when you toss food?