The guy I sit across from in class used to live in Japan. He now has a Japanese wife, and she sends him to school with these cute little lunches packed away in a cute little pink Care Bear lunch container, complete with pink chop sticks. What has me so fascinated isn’t so much the foods themselves, but the amounts. This guys meals have consisted of nearly half a cup of rice, an ounce or two of meat, a single broccoli flurette, half a slice of tomato, a pinch of lettuce, and today, a pinch of cooked cabbage and ham. The meal as a whole is probably filling, but it’s not something any American would ever think of putting together for a meal; at least none that I know. It’s got me thinking. When, and how, did our portion sizes get so out of control?
Last weekend, Husband and I went to a chain restaurant, and since we weren’t that hungry, decided to split the buffalo chicken tenders plate, and each select one of the two sides it came with. Thank goodness we did. The plate came out with 6 large tenders; possibly the equivalent to 3 whole chicken breasts, and I’m not exaggerating. I only ate one of the strips, and Husband ate two. We were both full. Thing is, that many people would’ve eaten all six of them, and the sides even though its more than is actually needed. I understand the “value” of the large plate of food for only $8.99, but it’s only a deal if you actually split it up into the 4-6 actual meals it is. I also know that the majority of the population will balk if we start offering the plate for $1.49 and only put one tender on the plate.
It’s sad, really. Maybe some day we can get back to reality when it comes to meals and portion sizes. Until then, I will simply marvel at how other cultures see things.