In Favour of The Doggybag!

Have you ever felt some social pressure changing your behaviour?

I should not talk to strangers in the public transport. I should not take the leftovers from my dinner in a restaurant.

Wait a second. I cannot bring back home the food I paid for? I should throw away food that I like?

These pointy questions were the beginning of a really dynamic and inspiring discussion at the International Conference of Youth in Agriculture (ICYA) organized by IAAS World in Leuven, Belgium.

Indeed, in a lot of European countries, the use of doggybags remains uncommon and taboo.

Just think of the name, doggybag. Does it sound like something trendy or pleasant? I think we can all think about the same thing, namely aa dog poop bag. An interesting fact discovered by the team was that there is no French, German or Deutch translation for it. However, in countries where this practice is accepted, like Indonesia or Romania, the infamous bag is called luggage or suitcase.

This simple vocabulary issue is showing us how uncommon the practice is but also how negatively it has been received in our societies.

Asking for a doggybag is indeed too often judged by other people; doesn’t he have enough money to pay for his food? Is she that stingy?

It’s even more surprising to hear such things in a time when it’s trendy to consume better and smarter. You can spend more money to eat local and organic but you can throw away this precious food because at a precise moment of your day you don’t need to eat more Where’s the logic in that?

In the end, people are afraid to ask to take their leftovers because they fear the judgement of strangers and perhaps more importantly but most importantly of colleagues or relatives. The result of this shame is well known:  we throw away perfectly edible food. Generating food waste makes us produce more. To do so, we are using more land and ressources, and generates more pollution. We also have to handle our waste.

Maybe it’s time to raise awareness about the issue and to start eating all our food instead of throwing it away for the fear of losing image?

Blogpost by Celine Foux-Milan, #ICYA2017 Social Reporter –celine.feouxmilan@gmail.com

Picture courtesy Torley Linden

This post is part of the live coverage during the #ICYA2017 – The International Conference for Youth in Agriculture, organised by IAAS (The International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences).  

This post is written by one of our social reporters, as part of their training on social reporting, and represents the author’s views only.

The #ICYA2017 social reporting project is supported by GFAR, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research