Can I Have a Doggy Bag, Please?

There was a big article in the Danish news today about the topic of doggie bags. In Denmark, it’s (still) not normal to ask for a doggy bag at restaurants, even though some have already started offering it.

And why not?

Having lived for the past 12+ years in a country where doggy bags are as common as ordering food at the restaurant, I now think it’s such a shame that countries like my native Denmark are still not on board with this.

It’s obviously a way to avoid wasting food. But apparently the issue of asking for a doggy bag (in Denmark) is a bit taboo. People aren’t accustomed to it, so they feel almost ashamed to ask or to even consider bringing their restaurant leftovers home and eating them for lunch or dinner the next day.

The concept isn’t far away from, say, going to a restaurant and picking up take out (or “take away” as I believe it’s called in Denmark). Okay, maybe it’s not exactly the “same”…but still.

My train of thought is this: I’m paying for the food, so I should be able to bring it home if I can’t finish it at the restaurant, instead of them just throwing it out.

It’s food! And unless it was bad or you didn’t like it, why on earth wouldn’t you take it home?

Resources are not infinite. I think we’re pretty much aware of that by now. And we have to consider that fact and try to adapt our lifestyle in order to minimize waste, not just food waste but all sorts of waste.

According to the article in the Danish news, Denmark and Danes waste 700,000 tons of food every year! Restaurants, hotels and cafeterias waste 29,000 tons of food every year in Denmark.

I’m personally stunned by this number, especially because Denmark is such a small country with just over 5 million people. But things are apparently changing…

The government is talking about making doggy bags mandatory in all restaurants. It’s a wonderful idea. I just hope that in doing so, they won’t create another kind of “waste problem” with the type of packaging used to make these doggy bags…

Please, for the love of the planet…please don’t use Styrofoam, plastic or any other type of box or bag that is harmful for the environment…like they do where I live!

I’m way past having any issues with asking for a doggy bag at restaurants. My next hurdle would be to get into the habit of bringing my own, reusable and collapsible container and just wrap my leftovers before the waiter can bring me a Styrofoam container.

Baby steps!

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