‘Finish your food’ is a common utterance from parent to child, and now it is being used by a Japanese restaurant to its diners. If you go to a seafood eatery in Sapporo, Japan and do not finish your dish, you will have to pay a ‘donation’, as the restaurant calls it, but it is essentially a fine for not licking the plate clean.
This requirement only applies to one dish: tsukko meshi, a bowl of rice heaped with as much salmon roe as the diner wants. If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, you will be punished for it. The reasoning behind fining diners for this specific dish is out of respect for the food and the people involved in fishing it. The menu reads:
If you are unable to finish your food, you must give a donation. That is because the working conditions for fishermen are harsh and so dangerous that lives could be lost. This is only to show gratitude and appreciation for the food they provide.
The policy highlights a more thoughtful approach to your food: considering the work and risk behind getting it to the table, and respecting that before letting it go to waste. In the US, portion sizes make waste often inevitable but if we could make dishes smaller and appreciate them more, it could do a world of good. But for now, a doggy bag will have to do.
Image via Gold