Monday, September 16, 2013

Buffet Mentality.

So, here I am looking at this gorgeous array of tantalising, mouth-watering creations of seafood, salads, vegetables, roasts, curries, stews, fried foods, baked goods, stir fries and best of all desserts.

Now where oh where do I start to do justice to this enticing display? To eat or not to eat is not the question. To leave or not to leave is the dilemma. So here is the problem. My eyes have been enticed. My stomach is rebelling and my brain has conveniently decided to take a holiday so as not to be made middle man in this argument that is currently ensuing on what I must take from this buffet.

So I do what most human beings do when provided with a host of options, all of which is available. I take everything!! Whether I need it, can eat it or finish it, is not the issue. The fact that it is an eat as much as you want, has given my brain the day off and has allowed me to do what I would normally not do. Take a bit of everything.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am a foodie. So for me, these different array of dishes being served up for general consumption is just to exciting for words. My mind is overwhelmed by the possible taste sensations and yummy feelings evoked by food that I normally like but can only have one serving or at one restaurant at a time. Here, lies before me, a selection that begs me to devour it all, to take my fill, to enjoy at leisure all that the chef could muster.

Generally, I do not eat buffets. I just feel that it is a waste of money, resources, food and ingredients. I love the exquisite taste created with love by the chef when I am presented with a gorgeous, yummy gourmet creation. I just feel that more effort and thought was put into a plated dish rather than the mass production that is the buffet.

But once in a while as I walk around a buffet, I am presented by options. Lots of options. Too many options in fact. And what I have noticed is that the predicament of choice and my brain co-operating to guide me is my downfall. I fall into the trap that many find themselves in. I choose lots of different tastes. Whether I eat it all or not, I do not even think about. I take small quantities and justify to myself that it is ok. As I sit down, I realise that it is more food than I can consume. It is more than I will ever serve to anyone for that matter. I look longingly at all the things I would like but do not take and use that as an excuse as if I have made such a huge sacrifice. Eish!

Then comes the eating part. I feel excited and despair that I cannot finish it all. I always think that I can go back for more too. Another dream in the mist. Just like that one that flitted past my brain when I was dishing up and choosing from 10 different meals assuming that I would be eating it. brain laughed at me and I ignored it.

True, there are children starving around the world. In fact a few kilometres down the road, there is a school where the kids go home and there is not even a loaf of bread to share amongst 6 family members, let alone clean water.

None of these thoughts hit me until I put my knife and fork down and look at the wastage staring me in the face. My plate has taken guilt and melted it cunningly amongst the nearly full plate of yummy food sitting and waiting obediently for me to finish. Once I stop eating, groaning at the inability to consume anymore, then triumphantly the guilt jumps up and bites me in the bum.

I look mournfully at all the food I did not finish, envision all the starving children who could have benefited and feel empty in my heart.

I look around at all the people who have piled their plates even more higher than mine and feel a gut wrenching sadness. As I sit there contemplating the nearly full plates of food being removed by the waitrons, I realise the magnitude of our buffet behaviour.

I realise that I could have exercised more caution, more thoughtfulness, more care, more restraint, more awareness and a much more tighter control over my taste buds, my mind and most of all my ability to choose.

Only I can take responsibility for my choices. Only I can limit what I put onto my plate. Only can use thoughtfulness so that my uneaten food that was tainted by myself, is not thrown into the bin. Life after all is filled with choice that stems from a new found awareness and consciousness.

So here is my plea to all of you who have the pleasure of eating at a buffet. Think before you dish before you waste.