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Guest Column

What dinner plates need more of: less

Published March 21, 2007


Restaurateurs should learn to think outside the box.

The box I'm referring to is the one that too many of us carry home after dining out because portion size is out of control. One Italian cuisine establishment has more people leaving with boxes than without them.

I always try to look for positives, of course, and must admit that there is one here: When leftovers are sufficiently ample, you do not have to cook the next day.

However, this situation puts our eateries at odds with Uncle Sam, who is doing his best to fight the war against obesity and, at this stage, apparently losing.

A solution comes to mind that probably is much too simple for our complex, multitasking world: Cut the portions in half and, just maybe, prices could be adjusted in parallel.

When you "take home a memory," it really shouldn't be a calorie-laden candidate for tomorrow's microwaving. Instead, let it be a gadget, an artwork or a travel souvenir.

Fast-food joints, ever mindful of customer relations, have made some moves in the war against obesity by putting salads on their menus and diet sodas in their drink dispensers. Some of their salads are fairly tasty and stand out among the clustered cholesterol found elsewhere on their menus. (Take it easy on the salad dressing, though.)

I don't expect an epic shift in policies to come from my suggestion, but someone has to take the first step - or raise the first fork.

Takeout now and then is a way to stay out of the kitchen, but let's hope some daring entrepreneur will attempt to free us from boxes and high prices.

Retired journalist James Pettican lives in Palm Harbor. Guest columnists write their own views on subjects they choose, which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

[Last modified March 20, 2007, 21:03:16]

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