Food and Family
It seems to me that the argument that many people have with themselves when they are contemplating a change boils down to time and money. Back in the "simpler times" things were far from simple, but the simple necessities were handled well and were a family effort. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the percentage of family income in the United States directed toward food has changed drastically in the last 50 years. We have gone from spending 1/3 to 1/2 of our budget on food, and eating out was a rare treat, to spending roughly 13% of our budget on food and almost 46% of that is eating out.
In the U.S. restaurants in many areas will list the calories associated with menu items. Holy cow, it is amazing that we an get the majority of our daily caloric intake from a single meal! Don't even look at how many calories your favorite coffee drink may have!
So here is where the time and money comes in. What if people began to divert more of their eat out expense to grocery items, organic/local ones even. Would they really be more out of pocket? How much time and gas does it take to drive to your restaurant of choice, to wait for a table, wait for your food? How much of this time are you spending on your PDA while sitting across from your children/spouse? In the same, or less, time you can prepare a simple, wholesome meal, the kids can set the table and you can create a new habit. And, in our home, we almost always have leftovers for lunch the next day....another meal taken care of!
I'm not saying that there isn't a place for eating out. Wouldn't a "date night" be more special if eating out was more of a treat than a typical thing? I'm a foodie. We love to cook, create, and have a small group of friends who do the same. We will get together and cook slow food, the kids will all play (no child care expense) and we always have an amazing time. We use food that we have grown or that we can get fresh and seasonal. I'm sure I'll bring them up again in the future.
How do you see food? Is the ultimate direction of our society that food is an inconvenience that must be satisfied in the most quickly processed way? Do you see value in not only the meal preparation, but the interactions that come as a result of it (most parties we attend everyone ends up hanging out in the kitchen, have you ever noticed this?) Isn't a large chunk of a healthy food movement a matter of willingness to embrace an old idea and the commitment to trying it and making it the norm?