I’ll keep this one fairly short. I just want you to follow a bouncing ball with me.
Bounce 1: Restaurant patronage
New article in City Lab called “Restaurants Are The New Factories” (I always thought that was hospitals, but oh well), featuring this paragraph:
In 1990, manufacturing was almost three times larger than the food-service industry. But restaurants have gradually closed the gap. At current rates of growth, more people will work at restaurants than in manufacturing in 2020. This mirrors the shift in consumer spending. Restaurants’ share of America’s food budget has doubled from 25 percent in the 1950s to 50 percent today.
Wall Street Journal is on this too: “The lost art of cooking.”
Bounce 2: Generally speaking …
… eating out is going to be less healthy than making your own food. (Not always, but let’s say most of the time.)
Bounce 3: Why do you think people eat out?
I’ve seen some research on this, and here would be my big three:
- They don’t know how to cook/live in a food desert
- “So busy and slammed at work, who has time?”
The first two bullets probably apply more to the bottom of the economic curve, although I’ve seen (and lived in) major urban centers that have food deserts inside the loop. (South Main Village in Fort Worth, where I currently reside, is a gentrified area and also a food desert. Where those hipsters gonna get their cardamon, son?)
That last bullet is straight white-collar workaholic bullshit to the N-th degree. Yes, work is hard and it gets busy and it can be very stressful in pockets, but here’s the rub. When you let “I am so slammed at work” interfere with “I need to be healthier” — and look, I’ve done this many a time myself, so I ain’t preaching to you — then you have officially let “The Temple Of Busy” win. It has defeated you. You are on the mat. And you have a gut.
Bounce 4: Your boss’ demands on you are causing you to regularly “pick up something from Arby’s”
I kind of wish people would understand that bad, micromanaging clown bosses are literally shortening our life spans. And now it applies to food, too!
Stop the bouncing and reclaim yourself from work
Am I talking about work-life balance? Not really, because somehow that also became a buzzword in the last 10 years.
What I am talking about is being better to yourself — and more productive. Realize that you don’t really need to work more than 55 hours/week in most jobs. Chase some self-awareness and alignment of priorities. Being home and making a legit dinner by 7pm with your family is a lot more relevant long-term than answering the 422nd email in a chain about “campaign assets.” At a certain level, no one gives a fuck about campaign assets. They will still be there tomorrow, and another set will be there in 2 weeks. You obese at 47? That’s going to take some work to deal with.
Don’t worship at The Temple of Busy. Start attending services at The Temple Of I Give A Crap About My Life.