Could Charging People for Uneaten Food in Restaurants Help Us Stop Wasting It?

An increasing number of restaurants are making people pay for getting more food than they can eat. That's a great idea.

Every year, the world wastes 1.3 billion tons of food, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. That's about 33 percent of all food produced annually. In rich nations alone, 222 million tons of food is lost by consumers outright throwing it into the garbage. That is almost the equivalent of all the food made in sub-Saharan Africa every year. In a word, our problem with food waste is disastrous.

At least one business in London is attempting to solve the problem commercially. Diners at the Kylin Buffet, a Chinese restaurant, have been surprised to find that they're charged a $32 "wastage" fee if they take more food from the buffet they can eat. "To avoid food wastage, we recommend you do not unnecessary [sic] overfill your plate," says a sign in the restaurant. "Please take only what you can eat." When customers complain about Kylin's wastage policy, as a woman recently did to the Daily Mail, the owner stands by his rules, saying, "we have to charge for wastage of food. We stand by our policies."

A Japanese buffet in Manhattan also charges customers a surcharge for not finishing what they take. And in Australia, a "guilty free" Japanese restaurant called Wafu charges 30 percent more to customers who don't eat everything on their plates. Wafu's chef, Yukako Ichikawa, says her goal is to make the world a more sustainable place. Besides requiring customers to eat everything they order, Ichikawa will also only let customers do takeout if they bring their own containers for the food.

Of course, it would be nice to temper people's tendency to bite off more than they can chew with rational suggestions that they simply stop wasting so much. But when talking doesn't work, appealing to people's pocketbooks often does. And not only might wastage charges keep people from wasting food; they could potentially lead people to be more thoughtful about how much food they need in the first place, which could have yet another benefit: helping to combat the world's obesity epidemic.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user stevendepolo

Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

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The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.