Why I hate eating.

or,

 

Conspiracy of the food people.



Preface
The Hours Before
Finding Food
Being Prepared to Eat
Deciding on Which Food
Sometimes you don't even have a choice!
Food Isn't Always as Great as It Sounds
BAD Food
Dessert
Paying for Food
After you've Eaten
Exercising the Food from Your Body
Getting Rid of the Rest of It

Not to Mention:
Preparing Your Own Food
Eating between "Meals"
Why Drinking is Okay
That Said...
 

Preface

Erik says my "Food Rant" is one of his favorites. I like to spread the word, and a lot of people find humor in it. It is very possible that they're finding humor in a ridiculous point of view, and that could be considered slightly mocking in itself. I'm pretty sure they're not smiling and laughing in agreement. I do think some of my points are agreed upon by others, but probably not all of them, and definately not in the complete picture I tend to draw. I will apologize in advance if anyone finds any of this rant offensive. Please don't take this personally if you, the reader, are food. (Don't get me started on THAT one, because we're all potentially food, and I'm sure Lions and Tigers would agree with me on this food rant, because not only do they spend their entire lives searching for and consuming food, but they can't even complain about it.) Also, if you find this all too verbose, but still want to make judgements, read as far as you can, and then go on to "That Said..." and read all about how I'm a hypocrite. (That's so no one feels they should NOT offer the author food at any time.)
 

The Hours Before

Prior to your meal, you get hungry. This could be an hour, just a few minutes, or possibly (as punishment for missing another meal?) many hours before you eat. Your stomach makes noises, you become lethargic, maybe even irritable. You're distracted by these sensations, and the only thing you can do is wait or give in to the temptations of 'between meal snacking,' which can cause guilt, pain, pleasure based on deception, and possibly even have more far-reaching social implications. These could include having to share snacks with others, making others jealous of your snacks, annoying others with the smells and noises of your snacks, or even causing people to STEAL your snacks. Add to all of this the emotional strain hunger puts on you. If you are dieting, you may feel guilt, anger, or frustration at knowing that your impending meal will not reach your expectations. You may become concerned about where you will get your next meal, and for the homeless or poor, you may not even know how you will acquire the food for the next meal. I could go on. (Since this is, technically, a rant, I WILL go on.) If you're the author, you may be annoyed by the fact that you have to take time out from what you're doing to find a meal and eat it. Your concentration can be affected by the above factors, and projects or tasks can be delayed or even cancelled due to a mealtime break. In fact, the quote about an army marching on its stomach proves that food, eating and meals can actually cause you to LOSE A WAR. 
 

Finding Food

Should you feel the need to satisfy your hunger, you need to find food. I'll assume you're not making your own food. This gives me far more to rant about. First you have to think of where you will eat. There are a lot of factors there. You need to know if you can get where you're going, if it's going to be open, if they're going to be serving good food, if there are any specials going on, who you may or may not see while you're eating there, etc. With all of the other decisions you make in a day, adding all of these new decisions only compounds the problems of the modern workday. And nobody wants to make decisions on a day off. After all of this decision making is done, you actually have to get to that place. You most likely will have to go somewhere besides where you're at in order to eat. If you work at a food service location, it is unlikely you will want to eat your own food, or anything that a co-worker has prepared. You may have to drive a car to the location, in which case you may have to give someone else a ride or feel indebted to someone if you ride with them. No matter what, energy will be expended getting to the meal. If it's gasoline, it's costly in real, tangible dollars. If you're walking to the location, it will take time, energy, possibly even the donning of outdoor clothing, if the weather is bad. 
 

Being Prepared to Eat

Even though you may have actually conquered getting TO the restaurant or dining area, you may still have to prepare for the meal. Quite possibly you will have to rid your body of the remnants of a previous meal. In which case, you're going to have to find a public restroom, or have the foresight to use one at home. If you're thinking that far ahead, though, you're probably not still reading the Food Rant. It's recommended that you wash your hands before eating if you've used the bathroom, touched anything sticky, or handled money. Once again, good luck finding a restroom. Maybe I'll do a "Public Restroom Rant" in the future. (Including the ever popular question: Why are there no public restrooms in Berlin?) 
 

Deciding on Which Food

Even the simplest of food purveyors has a variety of food to offer you. You have to choose one of these (or more, if you've neglected your hunger for long enough) foods, possibly a side order or two, and more often than not, a beverage. You don't always know what each item contains, how it tastes, or how it is prepared if you happen to be in an area that has different customs and tastes. If you ARE familiar with the area and the source of the food, you may have eaten every item on the menu, in which case, you have to pick something AGAIN. If you have allergies, or are extremely picky about what kind of food you eat, you have to choose wisely from the menu, sometimes having to guess whether or not an item contains the offending agent. If you're watching your weight, good luck. Many restaurants have some information available to you regarding the nutritional information on their food, but more often than not it requires reading tiny print, or getting a funny look from a waitress who can't understand why you don't want the butter soaked deep fried lard chips. 
 

Sometimes you don't even have a choice!

If you're lucky enough to get invited to someone elses home for dinner, or rude enough to invite yourself, you're faced with another set of problems. This includes getting to a destination that is NOT usually marked by a large neon sign, like restaurants. Once you arrive, you have to contend with eating in a foreign environment, possibly using someone elses restrooms, special (antique or souvenir) dinnerware which may be very valuable, or conversely, very tacky. And rarely do you get a choice of foods. You are offered one type of food, and if you don't care for it, it behooves you to at least be very polite about either not accepting it, or eating it. Some people eat more than others, so you may not get enough food, or be given more food than any one person can consume. Finally, if you're invited to eat at someone elses home, it's generally considered customary to offer to bring something. Sometimes you actually have to bring it, as well! And don't forget, you have to thank the hosts, otherwise you'll never be invited back. 
 

Food Isn't Always as Great as It Sounds

If you actually select an item of food by choice, often it is because you are familiar with it, or the ingredients or appearance makes you believe it to be the best option. Many times this can be disappointing, as food can be in smaller portions, taste differently than you expected, or even be prepared in such a manner as to render it completely unfamiliar. If any of these things happen, the food you chose tends not to resemble that familiar or favored thing that you were expecting. This can lead to sadness, depression, anger, and possibly even dissuade you from eating it. And if you don't eat it, you have to start all over, spending more time and money researching your next meal. 
 

BAD Food

Quite frequently, the food of choice is not at all good for you. The ingredients that tend to add flavor and excitement to food are generally not healthy. Butter, salt, alcohol, fat, and some dairy products can be harmful or fatal if swallowed. Not only do you have the pain and suffering of having to consume another meal, but you have the guilt of knowing that you're harming yourself in the long run, which can also harm your families emotional and economic welfare, should you die at an earlier age than if you had eaten nothing but celery all your life. 
 

Dessert

Once you've finished your meal, a lot of people will offer dessert. Generally a meal should satisfy your hunger. When dessert is offered, you're supposed to be full. This means you're putting more than you should into your body, which can cause weight gain, discomfort digesting, elevate blood pressure, and cause more of the guilt listed in the last topic. If you don't eat dessert, someone else surely will, and you're required to either endure their post-meal frenzy, wasting your own time. It is possible that you could leave the meal at this point, but that is considered rude and could cause friction in relationships, leading to family problems, workplace incidents, and loneliness getting back to what you were doing before lunch. 
 

Paying for Food

No matter where you eat, you have to pay for the food you've acquired. Even if you haven't eaten it all. Commonly, the better the food, the more it costs. If you have someone else bring it to you, you must pay them as well, either indirectly through higher food costs, or more often in the form of a tip. Most of these servers earn their tips, but there are times when service is so poor that paying a gratuity does not make sense. If you do not tip, service in the future will be even worse, should you get the same waitperson. As for tipping good service, you must first calculate the tip, then have enough change for it, possibly causing a trip to the cash register to get said change. If you pay with a credit card, it will require your signature, generally doubling the transaction time on settling your bill. And if you pay with a check, you must provide identification, and some "food places" don't take checks. (Except in Minnesota, where everyone takes checks, including vending machines.) Don't think that if someone has made a meal for you that you won't pay for it. Sometimes the payment is in the form of watching slideshows of their trip to Europe, spending time listening to them go on and on about their knitting, or possibly even having to clean the dishes from the meal. And if you're a woman in a cheuvanistic society, the person who provided the food for you may very well want more than just chit-chat for the meal. (If this happens to you, use any words or blunt objects in the area to dissuade your suitor. People who use "food" as a tool or weapon should not be trusted. Especially chefs and bakers.) It should also be noted that while you're eating, you generally aren't being paid. Mealtimes are the largest loss of income in the average workers day. And you get to pay money for that meal, as well! 
 

After you've Eaten

If you eat out, you will either have to hope someone clears your dishes from the table, or take your own remains of the meal to a trash bin. In malls or fast food chains, this can often put you at risk of touching someone elses ketchup on a trash bin, or finding overflowing piles of garbage coming out of waste receptacles. If you get service with your meal, you may have to sit at the table waiting for your check while you stare at the empty/messy plates in front of you. After the meal, your body is busy digesting food. This very often causes drowsiness, an apparent lack of energy, dulled hearing, loss of concentration, and impare concentration. On holidays, a nap is often needed, wasting time with loved ones. By the time your body gets back to normal, you may have as little as an hour of productive time before the hunger/meal cycle begins again. 
 

Exercising the Food from Your Body

If you eat things that are not "efficient foods" and cause deposits of fat, cholesterol, and other evil things in your body, you have to exercise in order to keep your body in a shape. If you don't, you can find yourself faced with a lot of physical ailments. Another paradox, exercising makes you hungry. Adult supervision is recommended. 
 

Getting Rid of the Rest of It

Your body uses food fairly efficiently, but there are usually byproducts which need to be rid from the system. This involved finding a restroom. See above for more info on this topic. It should also be noted that if the meal you ate was incorrectly prepared, insufficiently sanitized, or seasoned with certain ingredients, this could make your restroom trips more frequent or difficult. 
 

Not to Mention:
Preparing Your Own Food

Should you want to save money, you may prepare your own meals. This means planning the meal, getting the ingredients, having and using the proper dishes and utensils for the preparation of the meal, creating the food correctly according to someone elses recipies or your own previous meals experience, serving yourself and possibly others, and finally, having to clean up your own dishes and kitchen area. If you're cooking for just yourself, portions may be so large as to warrant having to refrigerate them for later use, and then having to eat those portions later if they're palatable, or having to throw them out, thus wasting that time and money spent on the meal. Also, while you prepare the meal, you will be hungry, and the smells of the food being prepared can cause mental anguish, anxiousness from any errors you may have made during the process, and any interruption can spoil the whole meal. If the preparation is simple enough that these things don't happen, the food will probably be bland, possibly tasteless. 
 

Eating between "Meals"

During the times in the day when you are not forced to eat a meal, you may become hungry prematurely, or possibly have to wait longer for you next meal if it is inconvenient. If you eat between meals, this may spoil your appetite, thus wasting food later, or causing hosts to worry that you don't care for their creations. Most snack foods are not nutritious, and some are even very bad for you. Many social occasions will have small foods around for snacking. These are typically used to distract the guests from the fact that there isn't a meal, or they're used as filling to make the party food go further. 
 

Why Drinking is Okay

Drinking alchoholic beverages qualifies as a sport in many communities, and as with any sport, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how drunk you get. (Paraphrased from Homer Simpson.) If you drink the right beers (porters, Guinness, etc.) you can get quite a bit of nutrition, and it's a lot of fun. 
 

That Said...

This doesn't mean I don't like to eat, it doesn't mean I don't want that invite to dinner, it doesn't mean I don't want to go to lunch with you, it doesn't mean I don't like people who eat, it doesn't mean I don't like people who make food, it doesn't mean I don't like people who eat a lot, it doesn't mean I'm a communist pinko bastard, it doesn't mean I DO like eating, it doesn't mean anything. It really doesn't mean anything. It's something of a joke. Complaints go to me. It's a funny piece. It's a rant. It's a food rant. It's over.