Nutrition Articles

Why a Fast-Food Nation Needs a Slow-Food Movement

Spend More Time in the Kitchen and at the Table

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We eat in our cars, at our desks, on the go, in front of the TV. We eat drive-thru, take-out, delivered, packaged and prepared meals. Why? Because it fits our not-enough-time-in-the-day lifestyles. Our food matches our lives.

Well, I'm certainly not the first one to think it—or say it—but we all need to slow down.

Consumer trends around the globe show that over the past three decades people are purchasing more prepared foods at the grocery and eating out more than ever before. It's projected that we'll spend a record amount at restaurants in 2011. We're consuming an increasing number of calories and bigger portions along with our to-go fare and value meals. Simultaneously, we're getting less healthy.

While debates rage over the food industry's contribution to our growing waistlines and our resulting health problems, the bottom line is this: What we eat, where we eat and how we eat are all 100% under our control. We can choose to eat a fast-food lunch on the go. We can throw a frozen meal in the microwave and call it dinner. We can eat without thinking: in front of the tube, at our computers, and while driving a car.

Or, we can dedicate an hour of the day to cook and enjoy a meal with our families. We can spend a few minutes in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast. Eating sensibly doesn't take much time or money, but it does require you to make a conscious decision to do so. Here are some steps you can take to slow down your mealtimes and bring food, which is an afterthought for many of us, back to the head of the table.
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About The Author

Bryn Mooth Bryn Mooth
Bryn Mooth is an independent copywriter and journalist focused on food, wellness and design; she's also a Master Gardener and enthusiastic green thumb. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog

Member Comments

  • The USDA recommendations? Are you kidding me?
    Too grain-heavy! - 7/30/2014 3:36:42 PM
  • "We all need to slow down?"

    That's adorable. Ameicans eat the way they do, because our lives and our jobs pressure us to do so. If you have a job that allows you to "make time" to prepare food, congrats to you! However most working Americans don't. - 7/10/2014 10:56:24 AM
  • The article mentions the buy one get one free coupons. As my wife used to say whenever I was interested in the large, marked down bag of chips, "A bargain isn't always a bargain." Glenn

    - 6/2/2014 12:30:50 AM
  • Not to mention that you can get burgers for $1, and salads are $7 (depending on where you are) - 5/31/2014 6:16:49 PM
  • I use the computer during breakfast: I go through my SparkCoach program while I'm eating. I think that's good company and a good start for the day, especially since I live alone. - 4/20/2014 11:13:33 PM
  • You can make 'fast' food at home (like breakfast wraps that you can freeze and then microwave for breakfast) and then take them with you on the go. Being busy is not an excuse anymore. - 9/9/2013 4:18:52 AM
  • Fast food is so damaging to our kids today. They have made it where mothers can go to the fast food with their food stamps. That's just gone too far. - 9/3/2013 12:11:55 PM
  • I gave up "drive thru" eating back on December 1. I have not eaten anything that comes from a restaurant with a drive thru window. Although it was tough at first, I have never felt better. - 2/12/2013 9:34:59 AM
  • I love the point about brown-bagging it. I heard a story during earlier formative years about a couple who worked hard, long shifts, had to brown bag it every day... and retired as millionnaires. Sure, there was more to the story than what they ate for lunch every day, but when I heard it, the moral of the story was, "take your lunch to work and you'll retire a millionnaire!"

    I started my new job in October and last Friday, I had my first non-brown-bag lunch. It felt like splurging. It was a great lunch, but it's so much easier to track my food from home, I'm sure I won't want to do it more than once every few months. AND, I didn't have fast food for that lunch... I ordered it and picked it up from a sit-down restaurant, then brought it back to work to actually eat it. - 2/12/2013 9:26:54 AM
    Years ago people went to work with their lunch and really , work hours are better - we have labor laws. Even if you have to work through lunch you can still eat healthy. Getting married to Rich man is Fable and will not solve your problems - be creative , pack your lunch and find your own to the top. Good artilce - I refuse to eat Fast Food Period. - 2/12/2013 9:10:13 AM
  • that's because we all forgot that we work so we live not we live so we work. wasting all our time working became the only acceptable norm. it's not normal , it will never be. we pay too much for our "modern"life comfort. - 2/12/2013 6:46:02 AM
  • Amazing ideas, but in America it's not easy finding a city and lifestyle that allows you to do these things. If you know of a job that allows you to eat lunch and NOT work at the same time AND pays the bills let me know! I'm lucky to get 5 minutes to cram whatever I brought in and then I throw a bunch of it out because I have to work on something else.

    My dream is to marry a rich guy and be a stay at home mom so I have endless free time for health! - 2/12/2013 6:04:07 AM
  • It was one of those books that I could only read about a chapter or half a chapter at a time. Then I had to put it down and sit there shocked for awhile and come back to it later. People should know this stuff. The book is at least 10 years old now and still so true. - 1/27/2012 8:12:29 AM
  • " Fast Food Nation" turned my stepson into an organic farmer who will not feed his young daughter anything that is not organic. The book is a real eye opener. - 1/27/2012 2:30:22 AM
  • Good points. I thought it'd include a reference to Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation, but it didn't. Really good book (and documentary) about the history of our obsession with fast food and the effect it has on us economically, socially, and physically. - 1/26/2012 12:53:38 PM

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