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Food, FOOD, F-O-O-D!

A while ago, Darwin and I went out to dinner. We had to wait a few minutes for a table, and I made a mental note of the time when the greeter told us about the wait.  They seated us in about eight minutes, much faster than the originally promised 20-25.  I sent a joking tweet: "I've been at this restaurant for seven minutes and I'm not shoving food into my mouth yet. This is not America!"

The moment we took our booth, the server plunked down a cutting board with two little loaves of bread and a dollop of butter, asked what we wanted to drink, and bustled away.  A few moments later, she returned with our drinks, took our food order, and returned with salads.

I looked at the table in front of us.  Two loaves of bread, butter, salads (with cheese, croutons, and dressing), and two tall beverages.  All of it had arrived within ten minutes.

"In a lot of places," I said to Darwin, "this would be the entire meal."

This was true.  American restaurants front-load our food.  We're served a meal before we get to the meal.  And it's become ridiculous.  When we (Americans) walk into a restaurant, we expect food to be thrust upon us from all directions.

And the key word is "bottomless."

Bottomless breadsticks.  Bottomless fries.  Bottomless drink refills.  Bottomless salad.  Bottomless crab legs.  Bottomless fish and chips.

Our stomachs are anything =but= bottomless, and our bottoms grow under the onslaught of all this bottomless food.

We're trained to eat it, too.  Clean your plate--children are starving in Africa or China or India.  Oh my gosh--this is such a deal!  Better eat it all.  Hey, a buffet!  Fill up, man--it's as good as free!  Hey, I paid for this, so I'm eating every crumb.

No wonder we have a national weight problem.

Just because it's there, doesn't mean we have to eat it.  Or drink it.  It's okay to tell the server, "No thanks" on the bread and the refills.  It's okay to say, "I need a box for the rest."  It's okay to say, "I'll have my salad with the meal" so you get out of the habit of eating before eating.  We can change.


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