That last kaDi-pattaaI'm a militant opponent of food wastage at meals. From a young age, it was drilled into me that one should not waste food, that one shall endeavour to have a clean plate at the end of a meal, and that to achieve these goals, one shall only take as much as one needs. The lessons evidently have struck home, and I usually eat everything, right down to the last curry leaf. The people who have to wash the plates at the place where I eat lunch daily must surely want to give me a medal. The food in front of me has just had a severe vote of no-confidence if I leave it behind.
Others around me are not so kind. Particularly at buffet lunches where people invite F&B on to their plates with the courtesy of a cruise yacht's captain, only to turn into an uninterested Pune shopkeeper in the afternoons. I watch in horror as people, with hardly a second thought, put down their spoons, forks and fingers aside while leaving morsels untouched. Admittedly, the food isn't always great in public canteens and lunch cafeterias, but that is no excuse for alighting from the gravy train leaving a mess behind. I have been known to give people, especially in the last couple of years, a torrid time over wasted jam and butter at tiffin-time on the principle that if you can't even predict the amount of jam you need on your toast, then what do you really know?
Anyway, the point of this post is this article wondering whether abolishing trays will reduce wastage. I think not. The only economic disincentive I see is to make people pay by weight for the food that they waste at the end. Very simple. It's hard on the eaters when the quality of the food varies from day to day, but then perhaps you should find a different place to eat. (I told you I am a bit of a radical.)