Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Freedom to Eat Leftovers
I've always heard that living in the United States is a blessing beyond compare with freedoms like no other land has to offer. I believed that when I was five or ten. But then I started to realize that most modern, western countries have many of the opportunities and freedoms we have. People can generally wear what they want, say what they want, and pursue whatever profession they desire.
But yesterday, I gained a new appreciation for American freedoms.
I went to lunch with a woman from my company's Australian location. And guess what? In Australia, it is illegal to take leftovers from a restaurant home.
Let me say that again.
In Australia, you can't take leftovers from a restaurant home.
No doggie bags! No styrofoam boxes! No takeout!
Supposedly, it's because a rash of food poisoning from leftover food caused the government to simply nix the entire tradition.
You can get really politically deep here in how much individuals ought to govern their own lives and how much individuals ought to relinquish that to elected/appointed officials. I'm not going there at all.
All I know is that when I pay $14.99 for herb crusted chicken over a bed of linguine, I am happy to live in a land that reserves the right for me to take my leftovers home, refrigerate them, reheat them and have a mediocre meal the next day.
In celebration of this newly "discovered" and spotlighted freedom, I challenge all of you to exercise your right to the doggy bag tonight. Cheers!