Today in Switzerland

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© Keystone / Gaetan Bally

“Another country, other customs”: this well-known adage is quite often verified in the culinary field. We can see it again with the use of the “doggy bag” which is struggling to become widespread in French-speaking Switzerland, while this practice no longer offends anyone in many other countries.

The use of the “doggy bag” – literally “bag for the dog” – appeared in the United States in the 1940s. This is a small bag that allows you to bring home the leftovers of a meal that you would not have managed to finish at the restaurant. Very popular across the Atlantic, this practice has also spread across the Old Continent. In France, for example, restaurateurs have the obligation to offer it since 1is last july.

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Of our time, this practice is encouraged to fight against food waste. According to statistics from the Federal Office for the Environment, some 2.8 million tonnes of food was wasted in Switzerland in 2019. Catering accounts for 14% of this waste.

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However, a search for view shows that the use of the “doggy bag” does not really appeal to French-speaking Switzerland. Two explanations are put forward. First of all, the portions served in Swiss restaurants are not gargantuan. Then, the practice has not yet entered the customs and customers fear being considered “stingy” by taking leftovers home.

  • PointExternal link on the practice of the “doggy bag” in French-speaking Switzerland on the Blick site
  • In 2017, swissinfo.ch spoke about Switzerland’s responsibility for food waste
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