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Small Plates Reduce Waste

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

It might sound like a miracle, but there is a simple change we could all make that could save $9 billion globally and rescue 2.42 million tons of food each year.[1]

This same change could help you cut 273 calories per meal![2].

What is this magical change? Smaller plates!

Nutritionists and environmentalists agree, reducing the size of your plate can reduce the size of your waste and your waist!

The “surface area of the average dinner plate in the USA has increased 36% since 1960.”[3] Trading your common 11–12-inch dinner plate for a more reasonable 9–10-inch plate can have a significant impact on food waste.

The Centers for Disease Control acknowledge the problem of growing portion and plate sizes. The encourage diners to ask for asking for a “to-go” container as soon as you’re their meal is brought to the table.[4] Better yet, bring your own reusable container!

They also recommend reducing portion sizes at home by serving “the food on individual plates, instead of putting the serving dishes on the table. Keeping the excess food out of reach may discourage overeating.”[5]

It’s important to remember that portion size is not always the same as serving size. Portion size is what we have come to accept as the amount we typically consume, serving size is based on the dietary guidelines from the USDA.[6] Larger portions lead to overeating and more food waste.

If you’re looking for a simple way to reduce your waste or waist, using smaller plates can make a big change. Remember- Wasted Food Stops with Us!

Small orzo and arugula salad

[1] (ReFED, n.d.) [2] (Lang, 2004) [3] (Brian Wansink, 2007) [4] (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021) [5] (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021) [6] (Department of Health and Human Services, 2012)

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