October 4, 2007

US restaurant should offer European portions

Justine Lescroart writes in The Harvard Crimson about the differences between American restaurants and European eateries. I'll give you a hint, it's a giant indictment of America's huge appetite.
Granada, Spain -- In the U.S., an average can of Coca-Cola (or at least the one in my fridge at home) contains 355 ml of soda. Cans in Spain (or at least the ones in my fridge here) hold only 200 ml. At home, Cold Stone Creamery’s “small” portions of ice cream are five ounces. In Spanish gelato shops, a 2.5 ounce scoop is the norm. By American standards, European food portions are tiny, but living abroad, I’ve come to see things in a different light. In reality, American portion sizes are huge, not to mention that they contribute to a national obesity epidemic and they flat-out waste food. The rest of the world’s food suppliers manage to provide reasonably-sized portions. Why can’t we?

Thanks to smaller portion sizes, European citizens eat healthy, “diet-sized” servings without feeling like they’re depriving themselves. Americans should be able to do the same. When food suppliers offer small, high-quality amounts of food with the right marketing scheme, it’s a win-win situation: customers drop weight, and restaurateurs pick up a profit.


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