OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

The "take all you want" mentality

This has been a major realization after observing human behavior at Indian weddings.

Photo of Praanshu Gupta
2 4

Written by

The buffet system - very popular in India - for the reason that we all know, you can take all you want. In order to not waste the amount of food that is being wasted currently, the want has to shift to need.

What happens when we see a buffet is that we tend to overestimate the amount of food we can, and even want, to eat and end up taking a lot on a plate and eventually throwing most of it in the dustbin. 

What startled me is that at a wedding, where there are typically around 300-500 people, this overestimation of food becomes a huge problem. and that's just one wedding.

What can be a part of a solution for this problem? :

  • Intuitively designed wedding cutlery in order to limit the amount of servings each person takes.
  • Culture of no-waste weddings.

and even,

  • Change/Shift in the existence of the buffet system.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Emily Getty

Hello Praanshu,
I would challenge you to change perspective and think about how the leftover food could more appropriately be reused, or used in a different way? Could it be distributed to guests as they leave? Composted (especially if you use compost cutlery and dishes)? Could there be a business opportunity for collecting and composting leftover wedding foods? It is difficult to change a culture and behavior around food especially at traditional ceremonies, but what about creating policies and norms around what to do with the excess that will eventually influence the tradition (over time).

View all comments