I don't know the answer to that question, but it pervades. G was telling me last week that she dreams about eating out in class. When I asked her what restaurant she dreams about, she said, "all of them. I think about it all the time. Texican, Dan's, Maudies, Taco Cabana. I spend whole classes thinking about it." Now, she's the one that wasn't going to be in love with the idea of the project from the get-go, but I have to say that even I can kind of get what she's saying.
Because fast food/restaurant food is absolutely pervasive. On my circle trip of errands while the kids are in tutoring, I pass the following:
Mama Fu's Chinese
Mighty Fine Burgers
River City Coffee and Bakery
Which Wich (I think)
Mandola's Italian kitchen
Wings To Go
And that's just the ones I can think of right now.
All of these are located on the maybe two mile loop. And they were mostly all busy, or at least occupied to some degree. This business makes money, and a lot of it. It also, to be fair, employs a lot of people. Here's the reality, according to the restaurant industry themselves:
2012 RESTAURANT INDUSTRY OVERVIEW
TOP TEN FACTS IN 2012
All that food, with all that salt, all those calories, all those preservatives, or not, as far as you know. I'm not sure if it's a plus or a drawback that you don't know what's going into your food when you eat out. And maybe people don't care. If that many people think they can't replicate the taste at home, maybe that's a tradeoff that they're willing to make. And how can you not think about outside food when you're bombarded with it all the time?
And I'll be honest, I almost packed it in today. Not for any real reason other than I really, really wanted an over salted, over greasy, over large meal. But I didn't do it. Mostly because today was LOCAL DAY! Well, that, and I'd already made dinner.
Okay, there's no such thing as local day. I made that up. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't kick some locavore ass today. I started the day with R. at the market day at Boggy Creek Farm where there was chard! And eggs! And spring onions! And little, bitty, baby squashes! There's only one thing you can do with that: Quiche! Squash and onions!
Other than the whole wheat pie crusts from Central Market and the low sodium bacon and parmesan from the Costco, everything in our dinner tonight was local. The eggs were from JFTB's sister's chicken, the leeks from the farm box and the chard from Boggy Creek. Our veg was tiny baby zucchini and yellow squash and spring onions sauteed in olive oil. We did have some multigrain toast from the La Brea bakery, but that's usually a breakfast item, so I'm letting it ride.
T. was home, and we actually sat around the table, all four of us, and ate our local meal at our local home. And it was wonderful. But does that mean I'm not going to miss the Mighty Fine?
No, it does not.