I am a big fan of. No, I am not a freegan. I am not waiting out the back of bakeries for them to discard each day’s unsold products. I am talking about food that is provided as catering, or shared between colleagues.
Like when there is a work meeting or function at which catering is provided. Free food! This this should be consumed with appropriate decorum – nibbling not stuffing one’s face – but definitely still in volumes as though this may be the last food on the planet. Definitely keep eating until the service plates are empty, all but the egg sandwiches. These should always be left. How else are caters ever going to get the message that even if people do say that they like egg (most probably lying) there is no place for egg sandwiches in the workplace!
Even better when there is left over food from a meeting where the participants have not following the above rule. This means you get to enjoy the food without having to suffer through the presentations and discussions.
Shared afternoon teas in the work place or catered parties then social etiquette requires some levels of self-control, couple of items on the plate/napkin/hand a time. This does not prevent grazing, taking one or two items each time you walk past the table. It is then just a matter of planning a route that takes you past the table each time you need to move.
It is not acceptable to stock pile “for later” especially at the beginning of the event. Arriving at the table, pocketing your favourite items for later in case it runs out and then sitting down to eat the rest.
At the end of the event it is ok, however, to take an item or two back to your desk or “for the road” at the end of a party.
The other staple for a free foodie is the supermarket sample. A piece of sausage here a cube of cheese there. Get to a new supermarket during their week of opening celebrations and you can piece together an entire 3 course meal plus a cup of coffee!