Fast casual, take out, meal replacement, curbside service… look at it any way you which but food service is changing in the US. It’s mirroring our highly indulgent instant gratification society. Gone are the days of tv dinners, here are the days of warm foods fresh from a restaurant served on your plates at your dining room table.
One of my largest gripes is that as a society we are growing more and more ambivalent about our neighbors and relationships. We have friends in a box and when you’re ready to be alone you just shut the computer off and they’re gone and when you’re ready for friends again you turn it back on. We all have that umbilical cord and we use it to “keep in touch” with those important to us and also to isolate ourselves from those who are nearest to us. (How many of you have stood in line behind someone who was too busy to acknowledge the service personnel helping them?)
It is possible in most cities now to order everything you need without ever speaking to a human. Are you in Orlando? Order toilet paper and dry goods through amazon – have that soap, shampoo, even baby diapers sent to you. Join an organic coop (who no longer delivers to Sanford so in protest I refuse to give them free press here- it’s my silent protest to them… pffffft!) and you can have organic milk, orange juice, fruits and vegies all delivered. No need to ever see a human face to face, talk to them or look them in the eye. Need some clothes? Awwww, that’s simple, just go to walmart’s website or target’s.
But all this internet creating “it’s a small world”… I am not sure I agree with it. It is a small world but now we’re so busy being present with those not near us. Now we’re busy acknowledging folks far away and ignoring our neighbors. Central Florida is such a good example of this. Most folks are not natives, therefore most of us do not have family or roots in the area. In fact, look around the highly mobile area and see how many of the neighbors have lived in their home over 5 years.
So, let’s go back to meal replacement from a restaurant. We want it quick, we want it instant and we want it to go. Let’s all go home and hook up and disconnect.
In times of recession (let’s use 9/11 as an example) folks tend to continue spending money on luxury foods (after all- don’t we all cope by eating food?) it just changes to a more acceptable form. After 9/11 pizza delivery skyrocketed. We could all sit in our homes, enjoy the food and still feel safe. They could scare us out of the mall, but couldn’t shut down our appetite for home meal replacement.
In this recession, it’s some sort of illusion that if we are not at the restaurant then we are “cutting back” but it doesn’t stop our habits and needs for quick meal preparation. We are still leaving for home late, working late and need the food.
So, just as technology is affecting our home and business habits, so is it affecting our eating habits.
One Fat Frog •2416 Sand Lake Road • Orlando, FL • 407-480-3409