I met a friend last weekend and while we were shooting the breeze for over an hour, he happened to tell me about his insightful experience at a restaurant in Germany. Let me share his experience to you.
When my friend arrived at Hamburg, his colleagues who work in Hamburg took him out to dine at a restaurant. As they walked into the restaurant, they noticed that not many tables were occupied. On one of the tables was a young couple having their meal. There were only two dishes and two beer cans on the table. My friend wondered if such a simple meal could be romantic and if the lady would walk out on the guy.
There were a few old ladies at another table. When a dish is served, the waiter would distribute the food for them and they would finish every bit of the food on their plates. My friend did not pay much attention to them, as he was looking forward to the German recipes his colleagues had ordered. Since they were starving, one of the guys ordered more food.
The food came pretty quick. Since my friend’s colleagues had other plans for the night, they did not spend much time dining nor did they consume the entire food that they had ordered. When they left, there was still about one third of the unconsumed food left on the table.
When they were about to leave the restaurant, they heard someone calling them. They noticed that the old ladies in the restaurant were talking about them to the restaurant manager. When the ladies spoke to them in English, they realized that the ladies were unhappy about them wasting food. My friend and his colleagues immediately felt that the ladies were really being too busybodies.
‘We have paid for the food that we had ordered, it is none of your business how much food we left behind,’ my friend’s colleague told the old ladies.
The old ladies were unimpressed and one of them furious. She immediately took her mobile phone out and made a call to someone. Within a few minutes, a man in uniform claimed to be an officer from the Social Security Organization arrived. Upon knowing what the dispute was, he issued my friend and his colleagues a 50 euro fine. They kept quiet. My friend’s colleague took out and gave him a 50 euro note and repeatedly apologized to the officer.
The officer told them in a stern voice, ‘Order what you can consume, the money is yours, but resources belong to the society. There are many others in the world, who are facing shortage of resources. You have no right to waste the nation’s resources.’
Their faces turned red. They all agreed with him in their hearts. The mindset of people of this rich country put all of them to shame. My friend took copies of the fine ticket and gave a copy to each of his colleagues as a souvenir.”
The moral of the story is pretty clear. We Indians do not waste much food at restaurants but a whole lot of food goes waste during marriages, festivals and other social occasions. There is a need to create awareness about the necessity to avoid food wastage at all levels. When we do not waste food at restaurants, why waste food when eating at home or in a party! Let’s come together to save my love, which is food.
To get more insights into ‘my love’, keep watching this space.