eating out vs dining in

I was reading through my usual blogs today and there’s a blog centered on diet, exercise, and health-diet related news. 

There was an entry talking about why we eat fast food even though we know it’s unhealthy for is. Duh, convenience.

But what struck me was that further down in the blog, there were three points in the post geared at combatting the convenience factor:

  • Home-cooked food can be just as cheap as fast food – and much better for you
  • Anyone can learn to cook
  • You can prepare a nutritious snack or meal in minutes

I think these are all pretty unconvincing reasons but the one I take most issue with is the first one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I disagree with it, it’s the notion that fast food is considered cheap and home-cooked food considered expensive.

Seriously, are they kidding? Home-cooked food CAN be just as cheap? How about, home-cooked IS cheaper.

Has anyone else noticed lately that when they hit the fast food joint, as long as you’re not ordering off the value menu, you’re shelling out anywhere from $6-$10 for just your meal?

It’s insane! I can go to the local Mexican joint in my little town and shell out $8 for a nice plate of fajita’s at lunch or I can hit the drive through, spend $8, and get a meal consisting of carbonated liquids, plastic potatoes, and a chunk of bread with a couple slices of roast beef, a scrawny hamburger-like patty, or a reconstituted chicken or fish patty – which is more appealing for the price?.

If I’m trying to eat primal at the fast food joint, I usually get a salad and request an extra serving of meat. That easily costs me $8 at McDonalds. Or, I can go to our little Italian restaurant in town, sit down with friends, order the small greek salad (loaded with exotic greens and reds, tomatoes, cucumber, calamata olives, feta and oil and vinegar) and ask them to add a chicken breast for $7.

Fast food is costing the same as seated dining these days and the food quality is vastly inferior!

But wait! If I took the $8 I’d spend on a fast food salad at McD’s and bought the ingredients to do it myself, I could have a far superior salad for lunch for 2-3 days.

And dinner? If I used that $8 and went to the grocery store, I could pick up a couple eye of round steaks or pork chops for about $3-$5. Then I could walk over to the frozen food section, pick up a bag or frozen veggies in a steamer bag for about $1.50 and then pop over to the produce section grab a few stray mushrooms to sauté and top off the meat. Two meals for $8 right there.

And if I cook everything at once, I’ll only have to heat up the leftovers the next day and not bother with a drive-through or sit-down restaurant. How convenient is that?

I get even more annoyed when I see articles like this actually berating home-cooked meals.

Seriously, cooking at home is unhealthy? You bastards.

So we’re not supposed to eat out, but we’re not supposed to cook at home either. I guess we should all just stop eating and let our bodies cannibalize themselves.

Would that make the conventional wisdom idiots happy?

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