Weekday Mindful Eater in College: Food and Time

How much time does take to eat here in college? Warren Balasco’s book “Food: The Key Concepts” motivated me to record different information about what I ate during a normal school week. I split “Weekday Mindful Eater in College” into three blog posts: economics, time, and psychology of food.

Today, I will talk for a minute about:
TIME

In college, it is commonly agreed upon by students that time disappears quickly. We tend to make excuses that we have no time to cook. Which is really a shame because cooking is the first and best step that a person can make towards a healthier life. So, I wanted to know how much time I was actually spending on eating and preparing (or waiting to be served) my foods.

MON 95 mins
TUE 103
WED 86
THURS 117
FRI 45 (2hr if you included the chilling and drinking)

Total: 446 mins (About an hour and half each day.)
Ave. meal time: 13 mins

Trying to record the true amount of time it requires to eat is quite a daunting task. You have to take into consideration many things such as the shopping, transportation, disposal of your food. You might want to include the creation, birth, and growth of your food; the work labor which allowed you the earnings to purchase your grub. There seems to be an endless amount of elements that need to be taken into consideration in order to understand food and time. Then, access to food is very different for each person depending on each person’s location, society, gender, etc. So it is important for us studying food to remember all these different elements; understanding the links in-between the different fields of academic study will allow us to create better solutions and ideas in our future projects.

Cooked, Served, or Self Served

I would argue that for college students the excuse of having no time to cook really means, “I don’t have time to go home for lunch.” The debate of packing a lunch for school goes beyond the scope of this blog post but what I would like to point out is that we rely on others to cook and serve us food. The following graph shows how many meals I cooked, was served, or were what I called self-served (Self served foods in my opinion isn’t just chips and crackers but processed lunch meats, convenient cheese sticks, baby carrots, anything that you would just eat right out of the wrapper).


For me, cooking has so many wonderful benefits that I feel is well worth my time. My plan for future semesters is to allocate 2 hours a day for lunch. Let’s fight back the 9 to 5 routine that has made many of us stressed mindless eaters! But what about you? What are your thoughts on time and food? What is your routine? Do you cook most of your meals? Or are you served them?

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One Comment Add yours

  1. asiago says:

    At my school UT Austin, a new Slow Food student org started last semester fall 2010. They are always challenging the time and food issue.
    http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sald/studentorgs/vieworgs.php/vieworgs.php?org=4836
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=114286498629145&v=wall

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