Tuesday, January 26, 2010


We recently surprised our kids (last Friday) and instead of going to school, we went on a road trip to the Mall of America. We had a lot of fun but the thing that kept going through my head was "excess." The Mall itself is somewhat overwhelming in it's hugeness and it's repetitiveness (seriously, the same store three times in one mall?). It seems that everything is big in the States - at least compared to Canada.

We stopped in Grand Forks on our way home so Jobina could go to a Super Target. There were less then 100 people in this massive store and again it was overwhelming. I couldn't help but feel like it was all so excessive. The worst though was the restaurant we ate in. It was called Golden Coral or something like that and it was an all you can eat buffet restaurant. For $7 you could literally eat as much as you want. Now buffets are nothing new for me but the sheer number of dishes was mindboggling. So much food! And yet there were less then 10 patrons in the entire place. Unless they were hit with a late night rush 98% of that food was going to be thrown out. Such waste seemed unethical. We tried to not overdo it yet we all felt like we had overdone it by the time we left. We all agreed - never again.

To me this kind of excess feels kind of unethical. It saddens me that so much food can be wasted, that so much money is spent for so little gain. All that food could probably have fed a small African village for a week. What a waste. It actually saddens me. Thinking about this made me think though - the people who eat here are desensitized to the excessiveness - but what sort of things am I desensitized to when it comes to excess? Or is excess simply relative?


Terry L said...

The lack of patrons must have been due to the weather. Everytime I have been by the Golden Corral (though I've never eaten there), the parking lot has been full.

Still, the excess is definitely troubling. I am guilty of occasionally frequenting the Royal Fork here in Winnipeg. They definitely go to lengths to at least ask the customers not to waste food.

I don't hit these all-you-can-eat buffets as often as I used to. The mennonite in me wants to always make sure I am getting the full value of my $15, which usually leads to the undoing of top buttons on the way home. Just can't eat as much as I used to... a good thing I suppose, though I do love eating!


Mark said...

Hey Terry,
To me the challenge when eating out is no longer getting the most for my money, but being able to get a portion size and quality of food that is healthy. Golden Coral definitely didn't meet either of these requirements (their tagline is "it's the bacon that makes it special")! I'm glad to hear that the wastage I saw that night isn't the norm if the place is indeed busy on other nights!

Moxymama said...

My husband and I took the kids to a newly opened Golden Corral this weekend (we'd never been before) and were also really surprised by how much food there was. Interestingly we both found ourselves eating less than we probably otherwise would have because at least in my case I just felt too overwhelmed to even make a decision, so I ate the salad bar. I do think the US is a culture of excess and as someone who has lived in the states for all but one year of my life I think we do become desensitized. I think we are at a point though now where there's probably not any turning back. :(