07 June 2008

The Clean Plate Club

Okay - anyone who has ever been on a diet knows what the "Clean Plate Club" is along with the ostensibly over-simplified mantra "Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you're full." Yeah, Captain Obvious - ya think?

The other night we had tomato-tortellini soup. I noticed that Ron had left one tortellini in his bowl. This, to me, seemed so odd. Unusual. And in a small way - amazing. So I asked him why he left the tortellini behind.

He said "I was full". It was that simple.

I am here to tell you that in no way - in no universe - could I ever leave one tiny tortellini behind on a plate. It just could never happen. Which is the perfect illustration of how that little mechanism that makes someone know when they are full and fell content enough to just.stop.eating has either gone missing, never existed or is completely broken for me.

What about you - are you like Ron and can leave one little tortellini behind if you are full or are you like me and would feel compelled to finish. Are you a member of the Clean Plate Club?


iFred said...

Growing up during World War II, we were constantly told (ordered) to eat everything on our plate, both at home and at school, because there were children going hungry in other parts of the world.

I always wondered, and still do, what me stuffing myself had to do with helping others who were going hungry.

I can leave food if I'm full, but there is still a sense of lingering guilt associated with it from my childhood.

Lara said...

I almost always clean my plate, no matter how full I am. My parents insisted we had to do that, and I feel terribly guilty if I waste food.

Shana said...

Yep. I try to put less food on my plate to start with though now.

Except when I eat at my SILs house, she has these huge plates and you never realize you're putting as much food on them as you are. I almost always end up leaving food on my plate at her house

Evelyn said...

Count me in on the "clean plate club"! I've been a member in good standing for over 4 decades.

I cannot IMAGINE leaving one tortellini on the plate!

I grew up hearing about how other children were going hungry, AND I couldn't leave the table until I had finished every last lima bean.

Now, I'm learning that it is ALSO wasteful to eat more than I need to eat! Not only is it wasteful, but the more I ignore my "I'm full" signal, the weaker that signal gets.

It's quite a dilemma! It does help me to put my napkin over my plate when I'm finished eating. Otherwise, my "clean plate" brainwashing kicks into overdrive!

Marvin the Martian said...

I can't believe anyone would leave one tortellini on the plate! Argh! One! Eat the dang thing already.

Growing up, I was always told that people are starving in China / Africa / The Bronx / Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I was forced to sit in front of my cold food until midnight if that's what it took. And my mother was such a horrible cook, that's often what it took. I can still hear the clock ticking over my head, and hear my parents laughing at "Barney Miller" on the TV in the next room as I sat there, alone at the table.

I don't compulsively clean my plate today, perhaps as a psychic middle finger to my upbringing. But tortellini, now that's just a crime to leave something behind on the plate. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I used to be a member of the clean plate club, but now I have managed to stop when I am full.

The change happened when I had kids. Before that, I could pretty much clean my plate before my stomach even registered as full (too many years of only having 4.36 minutes for lunch). Now, that we have kids it's "take a bite, get up to refill someone's milk, take another bite, get up to get a paper towel to clean spilled milk, etc". It can take me 30 minutes to eat!

But one tortellini? That's a little crazy. I can see leaving a stuffed shell or something larger, but a teeny tiny tortelli? Are you kidding me?

Anonymous said...

I‘m sorry but I have to disagree. Ron is being evil and selfish by denying the tortellini the fulfillment of it’s destiny ---which is, of course, to be eaten!

Your friend,
Cheryl S.