Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Food Tradeoffs

You remember that saying that goes something like "College is about 3 things: partying, studying, sleeping. But you can only pick 2"? I always thought that was a great way to sum up the tradeoffs. I was thinking that food has something similar.

How about: Food is about 4 things: convenience, price, taste, health. But you can only pick 3? Lets break it down a bit and see if it works.

By convenience I mean quick and easy. Now you can go to a restaurant and have someone cook for you. Thats pretty convenient. But this is going to cost you in price. You can go to a fast-food restaurant for food which is convenient and low price, but not healthy for you. Taste kind of depends on your skill level of your own cooking. Me personally, eating out in general, tastes better than me cooking. Healthiness largely depends what you order, and what you would cook at home. You have more control of ingredients when you cook at home when you want to be healthy. In my case, cooking at home will generally be healthier than eating out.

Price wise, buying bulk at grocery stores and making your own food is unusually the cheapest way (and healthiest for me) to go. But as mentioned above, its not as convenient and not as tasty.

So how am I picking 3 here? Out of all of those above, the one I would sacrifice the most is taste. I mean it can't taste disgusting. But I don't have time (read: don't prioritize) everyday to cook a nice thought out meal. I'd rather eat and get onto whatever else I want to do. So I decided to buy a weeks worth of food on the weekend and do some food prepping on Sunday evenings in order to prepare meals for the week. This might be having some precut veggies for a salad or making an extra large batch of stir fry and then refrigerating / freezing individual meals. Healthy, cheap, and convenient. I get the best of both worlds because I leave a couple meals mid week to eat out with friends; those days I can really savour the experience.

Now, as I improve my cooking ability to figure out delicious, fast to cook foods, sometimes in bulk, I can theoretically have all 4 of them: convenience, price, taste, health. Just like that well rested Magna Cum Laude Frat boy.