Why is it rude to take home restaurant leftovers?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve understood from reading your work that asking for to-go boxes at restaurants is apparently considered rude. Could you please explain why?

I’ve heard this from other sources as well, but it doesn’t make any sense to me, nor align with my own experience.

I care very much about the issue of food waste, and try to let as little of my own go to waste as possible. I also paid for the food and don’t like to waste money, either.

Moreover, portion sizes at American restaurants are notoriously huge, and I get the impression that the waitstaff doesn’t expect you to finish them. They will actually offer to give me boxes for the remainder when they see me slowing down. I rarely have to ask.

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