Apr 052011

The logo for the new Doggy Bag project in Milan.

Italians have long been loathe to take home from a restaurant what they don’t eat, partially because portions are reasonable enough that often Italians don’t have anything left over that they can’t eat. Several months ago, though, a non-profit group that works with homeless people in Milan, Cena dell’Amicizia, began a project called “Il buono che avanza,” (“The good things left over”). Restaurants in the Milan area can voluntarily take part, whereupon they are provided with doggy bags and a sticker by the non-profit. The idea is to fight the idea of a throw-away, consumerist society where waste is normal and recycling (even of food) is looked down upon. This is not really avantguarde thinking for Italy, but rather a return to the norm: up until the beginning of the boom economico in the 1950s leftovers were simply the basis of the next meal.

Interestingly, according to the Smithsonian’s Food&Think blog, the tradition of a doggy bag in the US also began out of a similar civic-minded project, this time to combat cruelty to animals. The first initiative was in San Francisco, with “Pet Pakits,” followed by Washington with “Bones for Bowser.”  ZN

 Posted by on April 5, 2011

  2 Responses to “Doggy Bags in Italy”

  1. finally!
    i mean, sometimes it happens to me to ask to the restaurant a doggy bag for my left over stuff… thy always look at me as a mad! I think it is not only a good idea, but also a way to save food from rubbish, and nowadays we cant allow to throw away anythings. Also in this way everyone can save money eating something still good.
    To me it’s a great idea, every city should have a service like this (a local government managment could help a lot).
    I like the name too… it works great!.

    grande questo blog!

  2. Well… sounds apparently like a good idea BUT… I understand taking food lefty in MY plate with me for ME to eat it next day. But leftover from my plate to somebody else? Not such a good idea sorry.

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