The exception to the rule

Typically I do not care for the great amount of waste that accompanies food at the retail or restaurant level. That’s because I’m frugal (not meaning cheap, I want to use what I get). I have a greater problem with the amount of square tonnage of parsley wasted every year. Some eateries however prove to be the exception to the rule. For example this awesome BBQ Teriyaki chicken.


The food as it is presented at many dining establishments, particularly those of an Asian flavor, often have the meat resting on top of a layer of shredded cabbage or lettuce. There is a purpose to this not related to taking up plate area so it appears as if the customer is getting a huge pile of food. The shredded veggies serves to lift the meat up off the plate or serving dish, allowing the oil and grease from the cooking process to drain and remain below the portion.

Without the meat being suspended it would float in a pool of rapidly congealing fat. Some people consume the oil-soaked greenery and while incredibly delicious, it is not good for you in the long run. So using shredded vegetables is frugal and sensible even though it usually ends up in the trash. An alternative which would add to overhead costs would be to use a layered plastic mesh or grate of some sort to suspend the meat. This would require cleaning and the mesh or grate would not only resist attempts to be fully sanitized but would degrade over time and bits would be consumed by the patron during the course of the meal.

Carbon? Try reducing your stupidity footprint

Ultimately disposable paper coin banks that could be folded into the shape of the new energy-saving buses that were rolled out into service in San Diego were handed out by the hundreds, if not thousands to kids and parents a few weeks ago in a parking lot of the mall where I shop.

Environment Bus FAIL

I wonder how many of these exist anywhere but a landfill by now? Once the novelty wore off , the nickel was removed or lost out of one of the folds and the buses were damaged by play I imagine they went right into the trash. Generating thousands of pounds of waste paper to tout an environmentally friendly bus doesn’t make any sense at all. Kind of similar to the paper tags hung on bottles of soap claiming the product conserves water. Guys, you can’t trade one for the other as IT IS ALL CONNECTED.

Guess who didn’t get a tip?


That’s right. I held back my green because the restaurant didn’t hold theirs. I asked the server not to include any garnish or parsley with our meals. They included it anyways. Look at that horrible waste. It isn’t like the parsley was taking up space on the plate that could have been occupied by real food as it was completely buried under my french fries and my wife’s salad. Yes, the house salad included a garnish that was found under the lettuce.

Somewhere, a family of gun-toting Marylanders who always have plenty of money for bullets and beer but not soap or meals are staring at their empty food stamps envelope wishing they had something to nibble on. This parsley, added to other sprigs collected from all over the nation could have made a horrible if nutritious yet possibly health-threatening soup. Somewhere, a pasta sauce is denied little bits of green floating in it that might be basil or not. Or gnats, depending on if the kitchen window was open during food preparation.

Save the planet and Hold the Green!

Hold It

Hold The Green.” That’s the slogan for a new campaign against wasting food.

Take a look at this tasty seafood platter from a local restaurant. Notice anything missing?

That’s right. The garnish isn’t there. The reason the parsley is missing is because I requested the server not put any on the plate. Why? Because it is wasted. Hardly anyone eats the sprig of parsley, not even the curly Italian kind. It usually ends up in the trash or in the case of really cheap restaurant managers, re-used for another guest if it can pass a visual test for freshness.

According to the U.S. Parsley Council some 59,000 pounds of parsley is used yearly as garnish and in cooking. As a garnish parsley offers little except to take up platter space that could be filled with precious bacon and to add a hint of color on a plate consisting primarily of brown and gray hues. This is ridiculous and wasteful. Studies have proven that of the parsley-as-garnish that is eaten, 95% is consumed only by misbehaved children in restaurants who jump up and down on the chairs, scream, throw their fun-menu crayons in the iced tea of the people in the next booth. Parents, obliviously allow their children to eat the parsley even though there are health risks associated with extreme consumption of the herb. The remaining 5% who clean their plates are just cheap bastards who squeeze a nickle until it screams for mercy. Outside of the restaurant venue parsley is consumed in bunches by the stupid and those who believe in magic. They tout the homeopathic benefits of parsley but science says a diet high in parsley is pretty darn silly and is useless if not actually detrimental to a person’s health.

It is guesstimated that annually some 50,000 pounds of garnish-related parsley is wasted by being uneaten. That amount of green vegetable matter could feed 7,000 dairy cows for a year or a Maryland family of three for two months as a supplement to their food stamps. If there existed sin then such waste would be indeed sinful.

So be an Earth Warrior and do your part with very little effort at all. When dining out tell your server to “Hold The Green” and if they do not let them know you will be “Holding The Green” yourself, in the form of their tip, which they will not receive. If enough people decline parsley as a garnish then eventually restaurants all over America will stop ordering it and all that wasted food will be diverted to where it really should go, as the main ingredient in limited edition bobble-head statues based on the San Diego Padres or converted to cheap bio-fuel to run our cars. At the very least the parsley market will collapse and Italy will starve and then die before falling into the ocean.

As a side note savvy consumers also fight against the wasteful parsley scourge by frequenting those establishments that serve not the useless Petroselinum plant as a garnish but instead a crisp leaf of lettuce with a single cherry tomato placed onto it. Some people treat this lettuce and tomato combination similar to parsley and it goes uneaten. However the wise diner views this type of garnish not as future trash but as a potential bonus mini-salad. Most restaurants will freely and without question supply a customer with dressing of their choice on the side if they request some. Frugality for the win in this instance because making a tiny Caesar salad out of the spare and space-hogging veggies the customer gets more for their dollar by eating the typically unwanted garnish.

For more information click the Hold the Green search label.