Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can I get the Piggy Bag?

Once on an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld said the following, "Whenever you ask for a doggie bag at a restaurant, there’s a certain sense of failure there, isn’t there? People always whisper it to the waiter, “Uh, excuse me. Can I get the doggie bag? I, uh, I-I couldn’t make it” It’s embarrassing, because the doggie bag means either you’re out at a restaurant when you’re not hungry, or you’ve chosen the stupidest possible way there is to get dog food."

I mention this because the staff at our school went out to a restaurant tonight. It was a buffet. It was like any other buffet that you could have gone to, except in this one, we were able to barbecue meat at the table. Each table had a barbecue station and we were able to cook pork and beef at the table. Nine of the ten employees at the school were there and we had our one little room. Since it was a buffet, we obviously did not get doggie bags, but people here do not usually get doggie bags anyway--they just leave the food at the restaurant. One may think that is very wasteful, but not really if you know what they then do with the food.

In my first week here I was told this and I confirmed it tonight. The leftover restaurant food goes to the pigs. That is why pork is so cheap here. In the McDonald's here, there are two trash receptacles, one for the wrappers and one for the food. Perhaps if there were something like that, not necessarily pigs, in the United States, then maybe they would not have been complaints about people wasting food because people bought the Happy Meal just for the Teenie Beenie Baby and then threw away the food. Restaurants here do not have take-out containers. If you order out some food, then it comes in the restaurant's dishes and then when you are done eating, you just put the dishes outside the door, uneaten food included.

Instead of choosing the stupidest possible way to get dog food, the South Koreans have found a way to feed the pigs and use the food that would have gone in the garbage anyway. I wonder if they feed pork to the pigs as well.

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