Is the Netherlands ready for the doggy bag?

Environmental group Natuur & Milieu is attempting to introduce the doggy bag to the Netherlands and from Tuesday will distribute 50,000 to restaurants all over the country.

Taking leftover food home is considered normal in the US and Natuur & Milieu hope to break the taboo on the practice in the Netherlands.

‘The doggy bag fits perfectly in with Dutch culture,’ the organisation says. ‘78% of the Dutch hate wasting food and 68% were brought up with the rule that you must empty your plate.’

Nevertheless, eight of out 10 people never take left over restaurant food home. Many are embarrassed to do so and others do not realise that it is possible, the organisation’s research shows.


According to the Volkskrant, however, Dutch portions are smaller than those in America and less gets left on plates.

‘In the Netherlands we are not used to meals in which you get 300 grammes of meat,’ restaurant expert Peter Klosse told the paper.

In America, people are also more likely to eat out rather than cook at home, says Wageningen University researcher Toine Timmermans.

‘In the US they are more service orientated. Restaurant staff depend on tips and are more prepared to do something extra.’

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