Restaurant Fines Customers Who Fail to Clear Plate in Japan

A restaurant in Japan is charging customers who don't finish every bite of the meal they order, citing the human cost of providing the meal to diners.

Hachikyo, a popular seafood eatery in Sapporo, adds an additional charge to a customer's bill if they fail to remove every morsel of food on their plate, or in their bowl.

"It is forbidden to leave even one grain of rice in your bowl. Customers who don't finish their tsukko meshi must give a donation," according to Gold Rush food blogger Midori Yokoyama.

The menu states that anyone who orders "tsukko meshi," a bowl of rice-topped salmon roe, must finish the entire dish or they will face the penalty. But the fine is not arbitrary, as it goes to honor the fishermen who risk their life to provide patrons with the tasty treat.

The actual dish itself cost around $20, but reports have stated that patrons almost always comply with the policy.

The policy brings to light a larger, global problem of the amount of food waste that the world's population produces.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a British-based independent organization, said the around half of the world's total food output, or 2.2 billion tons, finds its way into the garbage. The sum is a result of a number of factors, but primarily the waste is caused by consumer waste in developed countries and poor production mechanisms underdeveloped countries.

The effects are felt in all manner of life from degrading fertile land resources, using water resources inefficiently and failing to properly utilize energy resources that go into producing the world's food.

"This level of wastage is a tragedy that cannot continue if we are to succeed in the challenge of sustainably meeting our future food demands," the institute said in a recent report.