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That Looks Delicious. I'll Take Half

Here’s an interesting question: Could supermarkets benefit from promoting smaller portions? It’s in the food industry’s best interest, of course, for people to buy as much food as possible. But with health concerns and the economy being what they are, shoppers are beginning to think less about eating more food, and more about eating the right food.

Wegmans sees an opportunity in this less-is-more theory. Last week the Rochester-based retailer announced its “Half-Plate Guide”, a four-step method aimed at helping people choose nutritious foods and limit what they eat. To whit: Low calorie fruits and vegetables should take up one half of the plate, while meat and pasta can fill out the other half.

We’ve seen this in abundance lately with manufacturers. The 100-calorie pack craze comes immediately to mind. However, the Wegmans guide is the first case we can think of where the portion control concept has spread out into the aisles. It’s actually not that cavalier of a plan if you think about it — the guide calls for a full plate of food, including meat and vegetables. Most people probably eat close to that anyway.

It’s a great plan, in fact, if you consider how much food Americans waste — 27%, according to a recent story in The New York Times. Indeed, lean times have made many more people aware of not only what they’re eating, but what they’re throwing in the garbage as well.

Call it portion control, or call it getting the most bang for your buck. Either way, the food will still taste great, and there’ll be healthy peace of mind for leftovers.