I’ve been thinking a lot lately about serving sizes. There’s MyPlate, the USDA’s new food pyramid, which emphasizes dietary guidelines amid the rise of obesity. Last year, a book called Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think brought to light some concerning concepts about portion control (or lack thereof), detailed by this food blog. This was very evident when I went to Europe, where I noticed that their portions were unbelievably smaller – their “regular” or “medium” size items at a fast food restaurant were the size of our Happy Meals.
It’s easy to maintain portion control when you’re at home, especially if you have a food scale, pay close attention to the serving sizes on nutritional labels or use my new favorite (yet poorly named) app, My Fitness Pal. But when you go out to eat, it’s hard to know exactly how many calories you’re consuming, or just how many serving sizes that delicious entree would represent on the USDA MyPlate. And while I’m an avid fan of restaurant leftovers that mean I don’t have to cook the next day, some foods just don’t heat up very well. Plus, it’s not like you can order a smaller portion so you don’t eat/waste as much. I’ve even offered to pay full price at a local Jamaican restaurant for a half portion of my favorite black bean salad (so good when fresh, but notoriously impossible to save for later), but all to no avail.
That’s where the new program Halfsies comes into play. It partners with local restaurants to designate certain dishes on their menu with the Halfsies icon, where a customer could choose to order a half-portion while still paying full price. But this certainly isn’t a waste of money: Ninety percent of the proceeds are donated to support the fight against hunger, according to a Springwise article on the program.
Halfsies is launching in Austin and New York this spring, but I’m hoping it will make it to my area soon enough. What do you think – would you go Halfsies?