Wasted buffet food – Cuba – Debbie's Carribean Reviews Forums

zuley 2008-04-17 22:06:47 UTC #1

My wife and I have just returned from our 7th trip to Cuba. It never fails to amaze me the waste of food created by guests who simply don’t care. Up to the buffet table, take more than they could ever eat only to eat about half of it and then have the wait staff take the uneaten portion away only to return to the buffet table for round two. Do I sound a little upset? Ding, ding, ding!!! I watched one morning a non english speaking lady brought to the breakfast table a plate stacked high with toast along with another plate full of butter and jam packages. They did not eat even half of it and then off to the trash went along with all the butter and jam packs. People such as this should hang their heads in shame. I would suspect the food wasted at a resort on a daily basis would feed a small village. I’m sure their are forum readers out their who have befriended resort staff. I’m curious as to what the staff have to say about issues such as this. They have to be respectful of the the guests but what are they saying to each other about the rudeness they are forced to endure.

sandsunsurf 2008-04-17 22:27:23 UTC #2

I read in a book on Cuba that during the “special period” the Cuban people who were almost starving were very resentful of the tourists for whom all the good food was saved .

Having read this I am very mindful to not take more than I can eat and never leave food on my plate unless it was something I was trying for the first time and found it not to my liking.

I have often wondered what the buffet staff think of guests who leave half the food on their plate and go back for more… day after day…

We have been to 6 AI’s and the food in the buffet doesn’t change that much so after a few days most guests already know what they like or dislike.

Also I have seen children heap their plates and only eat a little bit. They need to go on a tour of the countryside to see children who really don’t have enough to eat.

I guess some people think it is an all inclusive and they are going to get their moneys worth.

mai 2008-04-17 22:31:53 UTC #3

Also, waisted food surely pushes up the AI vacation prices so everyone looses.

Mai

freedomryder 2008-04-17 22:51:55 UTC #4

Hola

My children will be coming to Cuba with me in May and I have sat them down and explained how it is very important to not waste any food.

I told them that they will be expected to eat what they put on their plates, so it is better go get a small amount of food and try it. If they like it then they can go back for more.

It really is a shame to see the wasted food from the tourists at AI’s since those of us that have friends in Cuba know how difficult it is for the average Cuban family to survive with much less than we enjoy at the resorts as well as here in Canada.

Freedom Ryder 8-)…

eeeefarm 2008-04-17 22:54:32 UTC #5

Good points, but have you considered what happens to food that is put out on the buffet and is not consumed?? (yes, sometimes I suspect it gets “recycled” into tomorrow’s meal, a dubious way to reuse it) I also hate to see people act like this, but the reality is that a lot of food is wasted. What happens to it? Don’t know for sure, but I doubt it is just “tossed”. Pigs enjoy most edible items, and that’s a likely way to use up “waste”. (so everyone that eats pork gets to make use of other people’s leftovers ;D ;D )

system 2008-04-17 23:32:55 UTC #6

All waste disgusts me. A buffet table is a particularly in-your-face example though, which makes it even worse.

Why people can’t make one or two (or three) extra trips for extra food instead of pigging-out in such a disgusting manner is beyond me. Seeing kids taking 5 times more than necessary without any parental guidance is particularly stupid.

Some of the behind-your-back comments from the Cubans would give some turons heart attacks. I agree with the Cubans.

system 2008-04-17 23:52:44 UTC #7

I totally agree, such a waste, and to think of all the people around the world that go hungry everyday. Even at home here, I have always told my kids, to take a little food or what they know they can eat, you can always put more on your plate, but you can’t put it back.

system 2008-04-18 00:28:47 UTC #8

“… you can always put more on your plate, but you can’t put it back…”

Bingo.

valleyguy 2008-04-18 00:37:24 UTC #9

Hello Zuley and welcome to the discussion of Cuba

You have hit on one of my greatest complaints, not just in Cuba but here in Canada too. My wife and I are good buffetteers, it’s all about timing/pacing your meal and making many small trips. The number one rule of anyone at a buffet should be if you take it you eat it, so don’t take too much. If you are uncertain about a dish only take enough to sample it.

I cringe to think what the Cuban people must think of the excess of their foreign visitors, but then, isn’t that the sign of the affluent Western to grab all he can or feels entitled to (are we not in the age of entitlement, just ask a 20 something). As for the Cuban resourcefulness, I am certain that yesterdays sliced vegetables end up in tomorrows stir fry or salad, the boiled eggs at breakfast are the sliced ones on the dinner buffet, yesterdays roast pork is tomorrows stir fry or stew, etc.

I could and will go on. Zuley you have opened a very interesting topic and I look forward to reading many more comments.

boldstar 2008-04-18 00:38:32 UTC #10

I’ve been wondering when this topic might come up…

I have to admit, I’ve wasted the odd quarter-plate of food. But only in situations where I thought something looked great but it ended up tasting like crap. Otherwise I try to sample small amounts of everything. And trust me, I’m not afraid to make that 3rd trip to the buffet when necessary. Plus, as someone mentioned above, after a day or two you catch on to what’s good and what’s not.

Maybe we should make a point of mentioning this to the simpletons at the table nextdoor. Of course you might want to reserve your comments for truly ignorant people as opposed to the odd person that makes a mistake. And for certain, parents should be setting a good example for their children.

ac2 2008-04-18 00:45:25 UTC #11

Good points, but have you considered what happens to food that is put out on the buffet and is not consumed?? (yes, sometimes I suspect it gets “recycled” into tomorrow’s meal, a dubious way to reuse it) I also hate to see people act like this, but the reality is that a lot of food is wasted. What happens to it? Don’t know for sure, but I doubt it is just “tossed”. Pigs enjoy most edible items, and that’s a likely way to use up “waste”. (so everyone that eats pork gets to make use of other people’s leftovers ;D ;D )

As always eeeefarm, you’ve nailed it. I recall eating some ‘unidentified’ food at a buffet in Cuba, that made me wonder ???

I never go to restaurants that offer buffets at home…WHY? because (a) I just don’t like buffets and (b) I see the exact same waste of food at the buffets at home as I’ve witnessed in Cuba.

I’ve also seen many posters here completely embrace the Big Bubbas and brag about how much liquor they can fit into them …so my observation is that these people are likely to be the same ones who also overindulge at the buffets. OTOH, for many AI travellers, this is what it’s all about :-X Each to his/her own :-*

annem 2008-04-18 01:02:19 UTC #12

eeeefarm: in Cayo Largo, most leftover food (in individual plates or in serving trays) is indeed fed to the pigs – as you may know, the pork you eat on Cayo Largo is very locally grown (don’t mean to offend you or any other vegetarian out there!).

rainbow 2008-04-18 01:15:36 UTC #13

I use to tease Freedom about practically licking her plate when she was done. ;D ;D When I see what little Maria has in her fridge, it kills me to see what is thrown away at the AI’s
Next time I hear somebody bitch about the food, I’m taking them to Maria’s for a stewed squid dinner. THAT will fix them!! >:(

bettyboopb24 2008-04-18 02:10:51 UTC #14

Going out for a meal to a semi expensive restaurant and having bread and appeti. and then the meal.Oh man no wonder we are on diets. Not to mention refills of pop. Pathetic I’m afraid.
Some things have gone to far for our own good health. !!

scovanotian 2008-04-18 02:29:39 UTC #15

I used to be guilty of that… take a little of this, and a little of that, oh, that looks good, hmmm, wonder what this is… then end up with a plate full of stuff that I didn’t want. Now I take just a few basic things, stuff my body is used to eating, and I clean my plate. As a bonus, I also have reduced the number of utensils that I handle… you know some tourists do not practice the best hygiene. Last trip, no waste and no tummy troubles!

boldstar 2008-04-18 03:00:44 UTC #16

This buffet thread brings me back to the days of road trips with my friends through the U.S. Stops at Shoney’s buffet were a staple. One stop was fuel for the entire day. But I recall being somewhat disgusted by the obviously-regular clientele… huge fat people that needed another bacon double cheeseburger like they needed a hole in the head!

Just remembering… sorry if my post is off topic…

zuley 2008-04-18 14:36:15 UTC #17

Thank you for the replies. I am obviously not the only one who feels the same. As I said previous we returned last week from a vacation in CL. The wastefulness was far more evident this trip than any I have witnessed previous. I have to apologize for my grammar and spelling in my original post. Got on a bit of a break away and hit enter before doing the proof read. Now, if anyone wants to get into another rant- how about those 52 oz “bubba” mugs? How much of that gets poured into the sand once they get too warm to drink or you are too drunk to finish?

Don’t get me wrong here folks- I am not some sort of a “do gooder” intent on changing the system. I’m just frustrated by what I refer to as the rudeness and disrespect towards the Cuban people.

sandsunsurf 2008-04-18 21:27:43 UTC #18

[quote=@freedomryder]Hola

My children will be coming to Cuba with me in May and I have sat them down and explained how it is very important to not waste any food.

I told them that they will be expected to eat what they put on their plates, so it is better go get a small amount of food and try it. If they like it then they can go back for more.

Freedom Ryder 8-)… [/quote]

I applaud you and ocanada because I think you are in the minority now adays. We made our kids who are now 26, 28 30 eat what they took when they were younger. Sometimes their “eyes were bigger than their bellies” but they learned to figure out how much to take. I guess I always hear my parents voices in my head “There are starving children in Africa etc”. Not sure how eating all my food helped them but I got the message. I do not waste food.
As many of you said you can always go back for more.

A worker at one resort told us that the staff all eat at the resort so I am sure that they eat what is left on the smorg.
We were at the Barcelo Solymar this year and it was the first resort we have been in that we saw many of the staff eating with the tourists. I assume in most AI ‘s the staff eat after the buffet closes or in another room.

I think as resourceful as the Cuban people are the waste is fed to the pigs somewhere.
Maybe even to Martians “pig” ;D ;D

scovanotian 2008-04-18 23:00:39 UTC #19

oh yeah… the poor starving kids in Africa… I thought my mother was the only one who used that line. ;D And yeah, how did my eating all my supper help them… although one time I offered to send my fishcakes(blech) to africa ’cause maybe someone there would like them.

system 2008-04-19 00:32:15 UTC #20

“… Maybe even to Martians “pig” ;D ;D…”

sandsunsurf, I would NEVER feed my cute, healthy little porkers the imported slop that’s leftover from resort buffets.

Totally healthy, organic intake only, baby!!

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