"We are all made of star stuff..." or so says the late astronomer Carl Sagan. I'm not sure I'll wax that poetic about my next topic which is less carbon gastronomy. Now, I love food, but what is amazing now is how we've confused good with abundant, especially in food portions. Last night I went out to a Southern Indian restaurant in San Francisco called Dosa, and it was pretty good, but the portions were huge. Not just for my friend and I, but at almost every table. It was just too much, and this is a fancy pants restaurant. Somehow we've become focused on quantity as a measure of quality.
In today's New York Times, there's a great article on the experiment that TGI Friday's is doing with marketing smaller portions. Everyone in the biz thinks it's suicide, since people are condititioned to think that big portions is your best value -- BAD CHEESECAKE FACTORY, BAD CHEESECAKE FACTORY. But, TGIF thinks with enough marketing it'll work. Maybe these smaller portions will be a great way to tackle the "Mindless Eating" that is happening, where if you put popcorn in a larger container, you'll eat more even if the same amount of popcorn is put in a smaller bowl. Hmmm.
So what does all this have to do with Less Carbon living, well, I'm not sure we are made of star stuff, but from High School biology (OK, and a whole heaven help me biology major -- but you don't need all that), we're made of carbon. Food is made of carbon and it's why we make Carbon Dioxide, we burn the food just like we burn gas. (Or make gas after a particularly aggressive burrito.) So if we consume excessive amounts of food, it's not just bad for our waistlines, but also for our planet as it takes more fertilizer to make more food, more gas to transport more food, more gas to dump and throwaway the food we don't eat. So this whole supersizing thing is not just about our health, it's about our Mother Earth's health.
Oscar Wilde said "A cynic is someone knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.." Ok, it's ok to go to the French Laundry now, just be sure to carpool.