I'm thinking it has to do with it seeming like something a poor person would do... I get the feeling that this is normal for the more well off Egyptians because my husband is definitely VERY concerned with the way he appears to others. Way more concerned about how he appears than how he really is but that's a whole other thing. There's also another weird thing related to food that seems to be cultural. He will always leave some food, often just a spoonful or two of food. Not enough to actually be worth putting away for another meal. I HATE THAT! If you take seconds, take some, leaving enough for another serving, or take it ALL so that I don't have to throw it out! He's getting better about it after 4 years of being yelled at, but still does it regularly.
Here is a hadith that tells us that if something falls, we take off the bad part and eat the rest, and second, never waste any food (to the point of licking our fingers or the plate so that there's nothing left). Can you imagine actually caring about food to that extent? It's something we should all strive for.
Anas bin Maalik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) finished eating, he would lick his three fingers. He would say, “If a morsel of one of you falls down then he must clean it remove the injurious, and eat it and leave it not for the devil.” He commanded us to lick the plate clean, saying, “You cannot imagine in which portion of your meal blessing lies.”Reference: Jami’ Tirmidhi, graded as ‘Sahih’ by al-Albani
I've also been thinking recently about how we could all stand to decrease our appetites by quite a lot. And yes, most people would lose some of their weight, even people who are considered to be in normal range but it would still be healthier for us all and for humanity and the whole earth to do it this way.
O children of Adam! Attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.Reference: Surah al-A’araaf 7:31
I was thinking about what would happen if we only ate the recommended portions of each food group and nothing extra. The recommended fruits and veggies, grain products, dairy products and meat and alternatives. No food that doesn't give us some portions in a reasonable amount of the stuff like sugary processed junk for example. I definitely don't eat like that myself so I have lots of work to do to get there, but it is my hope to one day eat only things that are healthy and drink nothing but water and the occasional healthy-ish juice or vegetable drink.
That combined with only eating halal (in every way, like the way the animal is raised and taken care of too) would be the best and most Islamic way to eat for a Muslim and it's an important goal of mine that I'm making baby steps to reaching.
If only my husband was at least a little on board! He does the things I described above and also eats quantities like no one would believe which includes very fatty, super salty food and lots of meat. I try to reduce fatty foods, meat and salt but he just piles on the salt afterwards and buys himself Burger King multiple times a week to make up for the fat, salt and meat that I'm not giving him at home. Truly a lost cause at the moment.