Our national infatuation with MORE

I’m in Indianapolis this week, and Saturday I was afforded the chance to eat at one of my favorite Asian spots – Taiwan Tea House in Castleton. The place is run by a Taiwanese family, a younger son who I shared a UIndy classroom with a few years ago. Good people, good food – so stop by.

Lately they’ve moved into a new location, and have taken to hiring locals (non-family) to bus tables, take orders etc. When eating my lunch this weekend (a well seasoned dish of fresh vegetables and chicken), my neck tilted a bit at each point I heard the same question repeated to multiple tables.

“Is that all?”

In context, “Is that all (you’ll be having)?” is a fair question, but it consistently implies that one should order more, despite the more than healthy lunch portion I was offered from the menu.

What, no dessert, no coffee?

I encourage you to have an OCD moment the next time you’re out for dinner with friends, and count the amount of times you’re offered additional food or drink past what you would regularly order. In more extreme cases, you might have to take off your socks (or for the more boring among us, keep a tally).

This is also part of my fascination with the inability of Midwesterners to keep pounds off (I’ve spent the last year in Colorado, and the contrast is stark) and I wonder if restaurant owners couldn’t play a part in setting a healthier tone for their patrons, despite how it might leave some questioning a smaller portion size.

I think in the end, we’d tip the scales in a positive direction if in our dining experiences we focused more on the idea of ‘Less is More.’

I definitely encourage a conversation on this one. What are your thoughts? How can we put a system, or institutionalize habits, around healthier eating?

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