Jonathan Kummerfeld

How much vegetarian pizza should I order?

This question frequently comes up in the world of free food at university events. In my experience (as someone who does not eat meat pizzas), often not enough is ordered. Let's try to come up with a model to tell us how much to order. Set it up like this:

Now, let the fraction of vegetarian pizzas we get be k, and we can write down the number of vegetarian pizzas in two ways:

Since all the pizza we order is eaten, these are equal. N and P are both positive numbers, so we can safely cancel the Ns and divide through by P, giving:

V + (1 - V) * k = k

To satisfy this equation, k = 1. Therefore all the pizza should be vegetarian :)

Of course, these assumptions aren't quite right (for example, not everyone samples randomly from the available pizza), so here are some more useful suggestions too:

Other peoples' thoughts on this question - Serious Eats and Quora.

If you want to give me feedback about my site, research, software, or something else, Please e-mail me, or complete this form: