It’s never really been a question for me. Well, for the last 30 years or so anyway. I eat in.
I have so many food allergies that it is almost impossible for me to eat out. That is unless I want a plain baked potato or a salad without dressing. Neither of those is all that appealing to me.
Friends would sometimes offer to cook for me and ask for my list of no-nos. Once they have the list, they often back off of the offer. I don’t blame them.
I have a very large number of things that I can eat. More than what I can’t. It’s just that the things I can’t are so all-pervasive that most people wouldn’t know where to begin.
I don’t like worrying or fretting, but I can’t help thinking about the corona virus and what it means at all levels of our lives. This morning, it occurred to me that the majority of people in this country eat at least one meal a day that someone else … meaning commercially … has prepared. I started wondering what that might mean in the days and weeks and months to come.
Will people start eating in more? My husband doesn’t buy lunch at work. We spend a lot of time on Sundays preparing his lunches for the entire week. They are lunches that need to be heated in a microwave oven. Sometimes it’s meatloaf. Others it’s chicken and gravy. Beef stew is a real favorite. I make these really delicious ground turkey patties with fennel, fresh rosemary and diced onion. Mostly he takes mashed potatoes for his carbohydrate. And his current favorite vegetable is asparagus. His co-workers tend to complain when he takes Brussels sprouts or broccoli or cauliflower.
These days, it seems that most people don’t have the time to cook entire meals for themselves. But maybe people will start looking at it a little differently now. Maybe something that seemed inconvenient will become less so if it’s perceived as a means to avoid contagion.
Thing is, I believe it is healthier to cook from scratch with whole foods. I think it would be a good thing if people took more responsibility for what they put in their bodies rather than letting manufacturers and restaurants decide what is good for them and what is not. But sadly, I figure that people will just buy more processed, pre-packaged foods. Which in my book isn’t any better than eating out.
I know I sound kind of preachy. But I also know that when I developed all my food allergies and had to start preparing all my own food, I got healthier and felt so much better.
I’m always looking for the silver lining. And while that might seem a bit insane right now with the threat of Covid-19, I think that if it shifts the eating habits of the average American toward a more healthy regimen that might just be a good thing.