Fury as Woman Embarrasses University Student at Lunch for 'Wasting Food'

Online commenters have criticized a woman who scolded another woman for leaving food on her plate, embarrassing her in front of everyone at the table, because she "care[s] a lot about food waste and the environment."

In a post shared on Reddit earlier this month under the username u/throwaway0856742, the poster said that while eating lunch on campus with other students, she noticed that a woman sitting at the same table was "wasting food" again, so she decided to step in.

"She eats maybe half of her food (keep in mind you control the amount of food. It's cooked by the cafeteria staff buffet-style. She could easily take less) and kind of plays with it with her fork when she's 'done' (aka eating half of it, sometimes even less)."

woman food shaming student dragged
Stock images show people eating pizza at a table and food being thrown out. A woman who shamed a fellow student because of the way she eats was criticized on Reddit. Getty Images

The poster went on: "I didn't say anything for a while, but a few weeks ago I had to ask her why she always only ate half her food. She seemed embarrassed but answered she thought she was more hungry and laughed it off. I then asked her why she made this mistake every time we ate, and that she must have learned by now. She didn't really answer (I don't actually remember, but it wasn't actually an explanation) and left pretty quickly.

"She doesn't really show up that much anymore, but when she does she still eats like this, and I couldn't hold it in anymore. I asked her once again, and also asked her if her parents never told her not to play with her food," the poster wrote.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the amount of food waste is estimated at between 30 and 40 percent of the nation's food supply.

When the poster asked the woman why she was leaving her food uneaten again, she said it was none of her business. But the poster said "it absolutely [was]" because they were eating at the same table. After another argument, the woman left and never sat at the same table with the poster again.

"She hasn't shown up again, I'm assuming she buys her own food now, which might teach her not to waste it so that's good. The same friend who told me to leave her alone keeps pestering me to apologize to her, but I think she should apologize to me."

Beverly Hills, California, psychiatrist Carole Lieberman told Newsweek that the poster should mind her own business, especially when it comes to people and their food choices.

She said: "Asking people, especially teens and young adults, about their food choices is a very risky business because that's how eating disorders can get triggered. Also, since she wasn't paying for the woman's food it was inappropriate for her to interject her agenda onto this classmate.

"There are undoubtedly psychological reasons for the classmate's choices—and having 'bigger eyes than her stomach.' The poster is wrong for feeling entitled to determine this girl's food choices and surely hurt her, and she should apologize," Lieberman said.

The post was shared on the r/AmItheA****** subreddit, where people discuss their actions with online strangers, and has gone viral, receiving over 13,300 upvotes and 5,300 comments so far.

One user, CortaNalgas, commented: "[You're the A******]. Some people are raised in a household where manners aren't important. Apparently that includes you because you're rude as hell."

And helpfulnothelpful said: "Lolol. Yeah [You're the A******] OP. Also, policing individuals about food waste is going to accomplish absolutely nothing to solve the larger issue of food waste. This isn't about individual shortcomings it's about a larger system we are all living in."

Another user, Jealous-Treacle5736, said: "Glad someone said it!! OP giving this poor girl [grief] because they care so much about food waste and the environment does nothing. At the same time, the dining hall might be throwing out large volumes of unconsumed food at the back anyway but apparently [because] this one girl might have scooped herself a little extra something the whole planet is dying."

Sangy101 said: "[You're the A******]. This girl is exhibiting classic [eating disorder] masking behaviors — and it also sounds like she's really trying to combat it. She takes a normal proportion and eats what she can. Then, she chops up the rest and pushes it around her plate to make it look like she's still eating. OP just called out this girl's [eating disorder] in public. OP, all of your friends told you not to say something. LISTEN to them."

And joeswastedtime said: "[You're the A******]. Someone else's eating habits aren't your business at all. Not. At. All.

Newsweek could not verify the details of the case and reached out to u/throwaway0856742 for comment.