Clean plate habit

I took some pictures more than a week ago after I finished a breakfast meal at one of the street vendors next to the Honda dealer nearest to my home. I came too early to the Honda car dealer for one of the recall service for the passenger side airbag on my Honda CRV. Since I have not had my breakfast, I walked right next door to a convenient store. Part of its parking lot is rented to several street food vendors. So, I picked one up and had my rice base breakfast there.

The picture was intended to encourage us to be more mindful about eating. A few minutes ago when I opened my wordpress reader, the top of the list was titled “Clean Plate Club“. So, this post is in support for that post (Thanks, “BooWholeFoods” for encouraging us to be mindful).

I strongly believe there is no downside at all for being mindful about our eating habit. Not only the mindfulness reduces wasted food, being mindful about it helps minimize our chance for being overweight, increase our chance of being healthier and possibly increase other people’s chance to enjoy the food if you happen to be eating at one of the most sought-after eating spots that runs out of food quickly.

I am lucky that I have a dad who is very mindful about his children’s eating habits. When I was young, he would encourage us to clean our plate of any bits of food. We are not even to leave one grain of rice on our plate. He told us that it takes a tremendous effort for a farmer to produce a grain of rice. In the old days, even now, the rice farmers in Indonesia are still doing their jobs manually with the help from water buffaloes in their small plots of land, which usually not more than 1,000 square-meters (0.25 acres). They still plant the rice sprouts and many of them still harvest it with their hands. I once followed a farmer to till his small vegetable plot with a hoe to ready it for planting. It did not last more than half hour because by then my hands were full of painful blisters. My hat is off to those farmers. You endure the scorching sun, drenching tropical rain, extremely humidity, sore muscles and painful blisters just so we can have decent food on our table.

Indonesia rice farmers preparing his rice pad with the help of a water buffalo. Image from

So, here is the picture that I took. It was impossible not to have the remaining egg yolk, because it is served as a whole egg. The egg yolk finally went to a passing stray cat who could not stay away from my legs until it got a bit of “snack”.



In my humble opinion, as in my case, early childhood nurturing plays an important role about eating habit. I finally understand what my dad was trying to convey. His main intent was to educate us on eating etiquette. For me, I picked it up real quick because apparently I have OCD toward cleanliness and order as one of my psychology educated friend informed me. However, she said that as long as it does not bother me or the people that interact with me then it is just fine. What a relief.

Nowadays, some of my friends even started to notice about how clean my plate is every time we eat together. Not only that there are no grain of rice left, but the bones are all stacked and consolidated on a corner of the plate neatly. They made fun of it, but then they follow. Yes, I think it is because it just looks nice and proper, if not mindfulness has not been part of their thoughts.

OCD = Overly Compulsive Disorder. Yes, I get sore eyes seeing things scattered over in the kitchen. I feel like I must make it somehow looks neat before I enjoy what I just cooked. Again, it doesn’t bother me and I usually inform people of my disorder so they don’t get offended by it.


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