June 8, 2023

On Not Wasting Rice

Yesterday I went to my favorite Thai restaurant for dinner and I was surprised when my portion was much bigger than usual. When the owner came to chat with me she mentioned “the cook gave you extra today because you didn’t waste rice last time.”

It’s true. Last time I was there I was so hungry that I almost licked my plate clean.

She then went on to tell me about how much rice she throws away daily from people who just don’t eat it. She said that in Thailand it’s very disrespectful to leave rice uneaten on your plate. Since most rice there is farmed by hand, the people respect all the work that goes into producing it by trying to waste as little as possible.

I was a bit taken aback by the culture difference. In America we waste a ton of food with each meal. The general attitude is “I work hard, I deserve this. If the rice farmer doesn’t like to work hard for me to throw it away that’s his problem. I bought it, I can do what I want with it.”

In Thailand, it’s not like that. They respect hard work and realize that without that rice farmer they wouldn’t be able to have the meals they have.

I think that’s a viewpoint that many Americans could benefit from taking up.

Either way if you’re ever at a Thai place, make sure you don’t waste any rice.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com


  1. I agree with you that people shouldn’t waste food, especially rice. Rice to the Chinese people is like money. You waste rice, also means you’re wasting your money.

    Nice write up ..