I’m not actually going to give you food for your thoughts, but spending time thinking about this may change how you shop and eat. The question is how do you define value when it comes to food? Do you just look at price? What about the quality of the food and the value it has for your body? Do you consider where it came from or how it is packaged? What about the quantity in the package? Does where you shop matter? How much time of your day is spent shopping and driving from store to store? How much is your time worth?
I came across a very interesting blog entry on the Elephant Walk’s blog. The Elephant Walk is a great French-Cambodian restaurant in Cambridge and Boston. They recently looked at the definition of value and acted on their findings. If you have the time, I recommend at very least thinking about some of the answers to the aforementioned questions and consider how the answers may affect how you feed yourself and your family and then read the blog. It can be read here: ewrg.typepad.com/elephantwalktalk/2008/10/defining—and.html
Yesterday, my best dinner value probably wasn’t the cheapest, but it worked for me. I was tired and the children needed a little more outdoor playtime. We walked to the corner “ice cream, sushi, lasagna” store. Yes, that’s what they sell among other things, but I know for sure that it’s all very good. Isabelle had her sushi and miso soup. Henry had his fried rice with enough leftovers to pass off as a side for the “grown-up” dinner later. They both had ice cream. And here comes the value part…I had no dishes to do or tiny grains of rice to search for between the cracks of our kitchen floor, the children had a great time playing in the park, and we made it to bath and bed before the meltdowns began. I got to sit outside and enjoy the early evening and some time outside as well. All of this for $13 and $1 in the tip jar. Next, time I think I’ll leave $2 because the rice is quite messy. So yes, I had cheaper options, but had a spent a lot of time and energy making something for the kids I would have been too tired to cook the “on sale”, natural beef from the supermarket, and make a salad from the farmer’s market greens. So either my husband and I would have had reheated fried rice as a poor excuse for dinner or we would have spent money ordering in. So occasional trips to the Concord Ave Cafe may not be the best value in dollars, but they’re definitely in sense.
Take a minute to decide what you value when it comes to food and leave a comment, send me an email, or just discuss it amongst yourselves. I think it’s worthy food for thought.
If you need a little more food for thought, check out this link: blog.oup.com/2007/11/locavore/ . Under comments there is also a link to the great cheapavore challenge (another good distraction).
Bon Appetit. ttyl your BFF (Boston Family Foodie)