Clean your plate, or else

In this time of food avoidance, I was fascinated by this story, reported by Growing up, kids are constantly told to eat their dinner, and Chef Yukako Ichikawa at Wafu restaurant near Sydney, Australia agrees. She offers guests delicious Japanese food with this parental advice: "Clean your plate, or there will be consequences!" In fact, guests who don't finish their meal, are charged 30 percent more than those who clean their plate, and diners who break the rules are sometimes asked to leave and not return. Ichikawa instilled these rules because she was tired of customers wasting food.

The rules are prominent on the door of the restaurant, on the menu and on Wafu's Web site. Wafu's mission statement says, "Wafu is not just a restaurant; it is an extension of Yukako's personal ethos toward nourishment and sustenance. Wafu is the expression of an ethical and spiritual commitment to food. We are not only committed to serving meals that nurture and respect the body but are actively dedicated to the notion of waste prevention, and take seriously our responsibility towards the environment and sustainability for the future.


"Finishing your meal requires that everything is eaten except lemon slices, gari (sushi ginger) and wasabi," says the menu. "Please also note that vegetables and salad on the side are NOT decorations; they are part of the meal too."