Wait… people are afraid of doggy bags now?

I went out for dinner last night with my mama and we were told we couldn’t get a doggy bag for our leftovers. Um, excuse me? But I had plans to turn the slow roasted lamb into a sarnie for work the next day… guess that wasn’t gonna happen. Something about health and saftey. Screw health and safety, if your food is cooked properly and I’m smart enough to put it in the fridge, I’ll be fine. I wasn’t impressed that they got in the way of me and my plans for a sandwich…

foil swan

I wish they still made foil swans to take home…

This is pretty unusual, most places offer doggy bags and I will take advantage of their doggy bagging system at every chance I get. I live for restaurant leftovers, it basically means I get double the value out of whatever I’ve ordered. As the queen of stinge, why wouldn’t I want a doggy bag? Hell, I’ve even been known to take home puddles of curry sauce to use for dinner the next night. I have NO shame and why should I? I’m reducing food waste, I’m getting maximum value for money and I’m getting a second meal, it’s a win/win/win for me!

But did you know that asking for a doggy bag is on the decline? According to some research by Unilever, people are less and less likely to ask for a doggy bag and those least likely are Gen Y. Wait, really? IN THIS ECONOMIC CLIMATE? Nearly 20% of Gen Y don’t have a job, yet we’re throwing food, and therefore precious monies, down the drain by not asking for a doggy bag? What is wrong with us?

You can take almost anything home too and reheat it the next day! Really, the only things you have to watch are leftover sashimi and reheated rice. Gobble these items up or order less of them (I only ever order one serve of rice for every two people), you spend less money and there’s less waste. More winning!

You know what I’d like to see though? Less plastic bags. A plastic container can totally be reused (hello make shift lunchbox) and a cardboard box can usually be recycled, but a plastic bag is the worst. How about using brown paper bags or something else more environmentally friendly? Restaurants could make them walking advertisements by printing their logo on the outside and for those who are ‘embarrassed’ to carry a doggy bag, they’re a far classier look than a plastic bag and most people will just assume you got take out. Classy take out.

chinese take out

You could even put the leftovers in a Chinese takeout container – hey restaurants, I just solved the plastic bag issue!

Look, If this is some fear of being judged for having a doggy bag, I say you need to get over it and fast. Seriously, there is nothing embarrassing about being environmentally friendly and reducing food waste, in fact last I checked, it’s kinda trendy. Plus, what’s the big deal in the first place? Who is going to judge you? Nobody, obvs. But everyone will be jealous of your excellent leftovers the next day. Fact!

So be proud to get your stinge on and help reduce food waste while you’re at it – and if you REALLY don’t want it, do something nice and give it to the homeless guy on your walk home (if you see one). This is really common practice in the USA and I love it, it’s so simple and they really appreciate it.

With all that off my chest, I’m off to reheat some leftover pizza…

Do you doggy bag? How do you think your leftovers should be treated?