Lion of the Blogosphere

Utopia: Why do people eat at home?

In the nation of Utopia (in the book Utopia by Thomas More, published 500 years ago, modern translation by Paul Turner), no one eats at home:

At lunch-time and supper-time a bugle is blown, and the whole Sty assembles in the dining-hall – except for anyone who’s in hospital or ill at home. However, you’re quite at liberty to take food home from the market, once the dining-halls have been supplied, for everyone knows you wouldn’t do it unless you had to. I mean, no one likes eating at home, although there’s no rule against it. For one thing, it’s considered rather bad form. For another, it seems silly to go to all the trouble of preparing an inferior meal, when there’s an absolutely delicious one waiting for you at the dining-hall just down the street.

This makes a lot of sense to me. Why is our society organized around people eating at home?

When I attended college, everyone ate at a cafeteria. I have to say that I liked that system a lot better. Why can’t that system of eating be expanded beyond college?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Posted in Books

165 Responses

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  1. Here’s the flaw: “when there’s an absolutely delicious one waiting for you at the dining-hall.”

    The vast majority of restaurant food — to say nothing of “dining halls” — is dreck, much of it bordering on being slow poison. I can make food at home that is tastier and healthier. And non-stop communal dining would be dreadful for society. The nuclear family ought to eat together. Of course, this doesn’t happen much anymore either, but that’s a different problem.


    September 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    • The Anglo Prole Sphere isn’t particularly known for good food. The UK is the worse of them. British bands came to the big cities in the US during the 1960s for one particular reason: because they offer the best food they could find in the English speaking domains.

      Cafeteria food in the UK is good? Well, apparently, Pink Floyd didn’t think so.

      “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?” — as in Anglo Prole blood pudding!


      September 6, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      • The proverbial ‘meat and potatoes’ are good and so is the bison. Incidentally, how are those frogs that the French eat? Now, this is culture – eating frogs!? Imagine you kiss a French girl and she has a frog in her mouth, like a piece of a leg or something, this is totally gross! You are crazy, JS!


        September 7, 2016 at 1:56 am

      • So why are food snobs like your fellow tribesman, Alan Richman, a native Jewish New Yorker, lamenting that his native hometown is no longer a town for fine dining? It’s only casual food like sandwiches and pizza that define the foodie scene. He loves French food. And to him, Montréal has overtaken NYC as the food capital of North America.

        Notice his delusional think that Montréal is a “lost colony of the United States”. Had Montréal became an American city, it would be another sub par city tainted with all kinds of undesirables and phony liberal snobs.

        And most people know that food in the USA, outside of the liberal centers of the Northeast and West Coast is generally not good.


        September 7, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      • The term pudding is generically used by the British to refer to dessert

        “[mass noun] The dessert course of a meal: what’s for pudding?”

        Lion of the Turambar

        September 7, 2016 at 7:18 am

      • “The Anglo Prole Sphere isn’t particularly known for good food. The UK is the worse of them. “

        England has historically had an excellent reputation for food. The first true restaurant in France was “La Grande Taverne de Londre which literally translates to The Big London Pub. It was started by Beauvilliers in 1782. Beauvilliers had been working in England, and brought the concept back to Paris with him.

        England’s food and reputation declined because of the shortages, rationing, etc. of WW2. Nearly every US serviceman spent time in England eating terrible food. So hundreds of thousands of people took that to be normal when it wasn’t. Admittedly, the restaurant scene didn’t exactly pick up after the war. The economy was sluggish for decades and most people ate at home or pubs rather than restaurants. Sadly, pubs have been in decline. But restaurants have slowly replaced them along with a quiet revival of traditional dishes.

        Anyone bashing English food today is only demonstrating their ignorance by repeating tired, old stereotypes. I’ve been to England several times over the last few years and found the food to be as good or better than anywhere. The dishes aren’t exotic or fancy but they’re very sensible and tasty.

        “And most people know that food in the USA, outside of the liberal centers of the Northeast and West Coast is generally not good.”

        Most people in the rest of the country eat at home with their families. A lot of people in the “liberal centers of the Northeast and West Coast” are young singles, homos, etc who eat out a lot more because they don’t have families.


        September 8, 2016 at 8:24 am

      • The food in the UK is no good. Period. Comparatively speaking, Continental Europe offers better and tastier fare.

        Even Spain serves better Chinese and Mexican food, if that’s what you want. The UK is crap like any English Speaking domain.

        This Fine European foodstore in NYC only carries items from Continental Euro, not a single item is from the Anglo Prole Isles:

        What does this tell you? Food in the UK blows…


        September 8, 2016 at 11:28 am

      • And I always thought the bands came to make money. . .


        September 8, 2016 at 8:51 am

      • I’m not sure that what a food importer/coffee shop has painted on their window proves anything. I would just assume they don’t have many British expat customers. Otherwise, they would at least have a selection of British teas, biscuits, cheeses, etc. That’s what food importers like that are for — to get special brands or ingredients that aren’t normally available overseas. It doesn’t really have anything to do with whether the food from that country is any good. Just admit that you’ve never been to the UK.


        September 8, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      • @JS – Is the fact that the names of all those European countries are written in the “Eurostile” font a nod to us typography fanatics?


        September 9, 2016 at 3:42 am

    • “The nuclear family ought to eat together.”

      Absolutely, and for all the reasons why you are right the utopians would be against nuclear families eating together.


      September 6, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    • the phase that Lion highlights “there’s an absolutely delicious one waiting” struck me when I read it too. It seems to suppose a number of things:

      -the quality of the food is entirely dependent on the ingredients and the dining halls got the best ingredients.
      – the cooks producing food acceptable to the broad mass are going to be able to produce the best version of a dish
      – people involved in uncompensated compulsory labor are interested in producing the best results
      – that no one enjoys cookery for it own sake and they might enjoy making one pie but not 90.
      – that the love and bonding produced by providing for owns own family is a negligible thing
      – that people want to have every conversation in front of their neighbors

      And if anyone is interested communal dining as an adult, have your son join Boy Scouts. you will come in for quite a bit of it.

      Lion of the Turambar

      September 7, 2016 at 7:29 am

  2. Well, for those who know how to cook, or who are married to someone who does, the answer is simple: the food is better. And costs half as much. Singles, especially young singles, like to eat out.

    Luke Lea (@lukelea)

    September 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    • And costs half as much.

      This. Especially for a family. For singles, it might work and be economical as long as the menu is limited.


      September 6, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    • Jews aren’t particularly decent cooks or known for their culinary delights. Hence, Lion and his fellow tribesmen rely on chefs from restaurants and eateries to prepare their meals.

      Bernie Madoff’s wife was literally starving after the gravy train stopped running. She always had to rely on restaurants, before his scheme was discovered.


      September 6, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      • Now, don’t be ridiculous here. Jews are fine cooks. Maybe Madoff ‘s wife had forgotten how, but Monica Lewinsky has her own line. Or was it a jewelry line? I don’t remember now. Jews know how to make money and if you have money, you can buy food and you gonna be OK and this is what realy counts. Incidently, in the restaurant that serves the ‘dinosaur’ the cook is Jewish and so is the pastry chef. They have an awesome double lamb burger.

        And Jews have family meals on Shabbat and Holidays. Nobody can get away than.


        September 7, 2016 at 7:40 am

      • Jews are only good with appetizing fare (bagels & spreads), sandwiches, and certain baked goods. In terms of real food, they do not make competent cooks.

        Go read the article written up by your fellow tribesman, Alan Richman: skilled chefs are gentiles, not Jews. Jews are only good at making bagels and sandwiches, which anybody can make.


        September 8, 2016 at 8:56 am

      • Jews ought to be able to become good cooks because they have high IQ and high IQ enables you to learn, right? However the lower-IQ prole Jews are horrible cooks, unlike prole Italians who have been passed down good cooking skills from previous generations.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 8, 2016 at 11:42 am

      • Cooking is a skill akin to a craft, and Jews aren’t particularly skilled with making stuff. It’s quite an anomaly for a Jewish person to enjoy a value creating field of creating things from scratch.


        September 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      • I don’t know if I agree with this.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 8, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      • True. We were Italians in a neighborhood with many Jews. When my friend Jerry’s mom had me over for dinner, I couldn’t believe how bad it was. Nice people though.

        West Coast IA

        September 7, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      • You’re probably talking about American Jews, who have the worst of both Eastern European prole food and the generally disgusting American approach to food. Here in Israel the food is incredibly diverse and of excellent quality, so there’s nothing inherently bad about Jewish cooking. Plus, my very Jewish mother is a great cook.

        Y. Ilan

        September 8, 2016 at 6:11 am

      • Anyone can learn to cook. If Jewish women are bad cooks it’s because they’re too busy nagging their husbands to learn.


        September 8, 2016 at 8:32 am

      • It’s impossible to transfer much vale via a sandwich. jews don’t care much about value creation. By default, that makes them lousy cooks. I dated a jew once. She refused to cook, she thought it was beneath her.

        What culinary innovations have jews brought to the table in the past 100 years? Absolutely none.

        I won't cook

        September 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      • There may be some great chefs who are Jewish and they are making treif food, so you don’t know that they are Jewish.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 8, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      • Correct, Jews have produced a paucity of tangible things, and their value creation is mostly intangible in nature.

        In NYC, Jews are perhaps the biggest patrons of gentile owned eating establishments.


        September 9, 2016 at 11:36 am

      • Jews have a high math IQ (113) and high verbal IQ (109), but their spatial IQs are only 93, so most can never be good chefs


        September 8, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      • I don’t know why mixing ingredients together and then putting them in an oven or a pot requires high spatial IQ.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 8, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      • Or good craftsmen for that matter.


        September 9, 2016 at 11:36 am

      • Certain foods may require subtle visual-motor talent and dynamic spatial timing, such as flipping an omelette at just the right time, tilting a gourmet omelette at just right time and just the right amount, making a soufflé or creating a large, multilevel, equistely decorated wedding cake.

        Former billionaire Martha Stewart probably has a very high spatial IQ


        September 8, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      • Many Jews tend to be lacking in subtlety and flair when it comes to physical activities — lower spatial IQ might be the answer.


        September 9, 2016 at 11:47 am

      • Rabbi were the most respected in the Jewish community, not the athletes. But Jews are athletic enough to kick Arab ass in warfare.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      • And why didn’t smart Jews produce an ounce of self sufficiency? Book smarts doesn’t make someone competent with survival skills.

        The Amish in Pennsylvania can survive in a rural environment w/o welfare, but Hasidics from Brooklyn, would be in big trouble without welfare subsidies and modern day amenities or their proximity to cities.

        Israel is also a big recipient of American aid, something that a sub-saharan country would need in order to stay afloat. Furthermore, Israel has had several food production issues, where it has to import many farmers who aren’t Jewish, because many Israeli natives don’t know how to farm. It isn’t the early days of Kibbutizm anymore, where Yakov’s relative would grow food for a small community.


        September 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      • ‘It’s quite an anomaly for a Jewish person to enjoy a value creating field of creating things from scratch.’

        Stop being ridiculous now. Jews have the highest % of Nobel Laureates. Jews create tons of value. They also destroy tons of value so it may seem to you that they don’t create any value, but they do. I think Einstein still created more value them Madoff destroyed. Nobody creates more value then the Jews. If you disagree, tell me who does? Jews are absolutely the best.


        September 9, 2016 at 12:46 am

      • Like what? Jews are mostly in value transference fields like law & finance.


        September 9, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      • Nigella Lawson is Jewish.

        Lothar of the Hill People

        September 9, 2016 at 4:19 am

      • Jews like this guy are indeed an anomaly in America. He likes construction work and used to have a show called the Yankee Workshop, making wood furniture. He was also part of the show “This Old House” another PBS show, where the hosts are renovating old homes.

        He was also a Mechanical Engineer by training (another field not likely taken up by Jews, who usually embark on value transference-parasitic fields like law and finance, which invites diatribes among anti-semites that Jews don’t like to “work”).


        September 9, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      • “Many Jews tend to be lacking in subtlety and flair when it comes to physical activities —”

        There are plenty of talented Jewish athletes. For example, in women’s gymnastics over the past 30 years or so there have been a number of famous Jews – Yelena Shushunova, Natalia Lascenova, Jennifer Sey, Keri Strug (my guess is that the last name was Strugatz and it was shortened), Phoebe Mills, and Aly Raisman. There were probably even more women gymnasts who are Jewish, these are just the ones I know of.


        September 9, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      • You know, I understand the relevance when discussing stuff like the alt-right, but does everything have to be about Jews and IQ? This is about food for crying out loud.


        September 10, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      • Because too many commenters are antisemitic and try to turn every comment thread into something about the Jews.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 10, 2016 at 10:52 pm

  3. I like eating at home because it is quiet and comfortable. Likewise, when I go on holiday, I like to stay in condos with full kitchen for the same reason. I like to eat out occasionally on weekends.

    Abelard Lindsey

    September 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

  4. He’s getting that from Plato’s Republic. The idea is that the public eating will eliminate private aspects of life, like in the military.


    September 6, 2016 at 1:51 pm

  5. Being the omega all by yourself at the public cafeteria table is DLV. The mental humiliation outweighs the nutrition.


    September 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    • Exactly. Nobody likes being on display eating alone.


      September 6, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      • Lion must have had friends if he has such positives memories of the experience.


        September 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    • I can’t taste my food when I’m yakking with other people. But I am an introvert.

      I like to eat and digest and peace. I’ll deal with all the knuckleheads after.


      September 6, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    • There really aren’t any cafeterias for adults outside of corporations, government offices, the military, hospitals, where people either eat with colleagues or where it’s not a big deal to eat alone.

      You never eat alone at a diner, or fast food joint, or takeout place, or non waited restaurant? People do all the time and it’s not considered humiliating.


      September 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      • People [eat alone] all the time and it’s not considered humiliating.

        I know plenty of people who would never do it. Maybe when sitting at a bar eating appetizers, but not an actual sit-down meal.


        September 6, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      • Never do it where? At a cafe or diner or a fast food or takeout joint? You see people eat alone at these places all the time. It’s not considered weird or humiliating at all.

        Most people won’t eat alone at a sit down restaurant with waiters though.


        September 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    • I agree with the poster who said people eat alone all the time in public places, especially, I find, when they’re working. I think David Mamet said that that’s how he writes. Like myself, most people probably want to do *something* while they eat.

      My grandmother apparently hated eating alone, but that wasn’t a public-humiliation thing. When she lived with my parents, someone would sit with her and munch on something while she had a meal. I never understood it.

      I absolutely despise the sound of other people chewing their food. It’s disgusting.


      September 7, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    • Oh man, that comment brings back bad memories of being a shy, awkward nerd who didn’t have anyone to sit with in the cafeteria.


      September 8, 2016 at 6:31 am

    • Most of the people I know who are comfortable eating alone are extroverts and enjoy meeting new people. They typically choose to occupy a counter/bar spot as opposed to a table. Learning how to initiate a conversation with a stranger without being an irritant or closing down the effort when in receipt of negative signals is an important social skill. Cops, of course, become very good at this.


      September 8, 2016 at 9:05 am

      • True that! My dad and I used to have this conversation:
        – Do you know this guy?
        – No.
        – So why are you talking to him?
        – Why not? If I don’t talk to strangers, I’ll never get to know anyone.

        Talking to strangers is fun. And mates, the truth needs to be reiterated, blacks are very easy to talk to. If you are lonely, you can easily talk to a black person.


        September 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    • Not everyone who enjoys spending time alone is an omega. I agree that there are places where its weird to be seen alone (amusement parks, places that are designed with romantic/married couples mind) but restaurants aren’t among them. I actually don’t mind being alone at a restaurant. I’m just too cheap to eat out very often.


      September 9, 2016 at 4:10 pm

  6. “Why is our society organized around people eating at home?”

    1 Restaurant food is expensive. It costs 5 to 10 times as much to dine out as it does to buy groceries and prepare the same meal at home.

    2 Restaurant food is unhealthy. Even nice restaurants load the food down with ridiculous amounts of butter, sugar, etc.

    3 Restaurants hire 3rd world peasants to prepare the food. A lot of them have nasty diseases like tuberculosis.

    4 I don’t want to watch strangers eat or listen to their conversations and vice versa. I’d rather eat with my family in the privacy of my own home.

    “When I attended college, everyone ate at a cafeteria. I have to say that I liked that system a lot better. Why can’t that system of eating be expanded beyond college?”

    If I lived alone and couldn’t cook then I might prefer that system, too. But I recall the cafeteria food at every school or university I’ve attended as being mediocre at best.


    September 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    • “But I recall the cafeteria food at every school or university I’ve attended as being mediocre at best.”

      I’m naturally a meso-endomorph but I lost 15 pounds as a college freshman because the food was so bad.


      September 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      • The reverse freshman 15. You should write a book. Can I ask what your starting height and weight were?


        September 6, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      • I started off at 6’2 and 220 lbs. (1.88m and 100kg to non-American readers.) I lost 15 pounds in the first semester because the food was so bad.

        In college I looked very lean when at 205. Afterwards I did some serious weight training and now I look lean at 220.

        I gain weight easily and have a large appetite, so something crazy has to happen for me to lose weight or I need to be very strict about my eating. (I lost a lot of weight when doing Peace Corps in a former Soviet, Muslim-majority country. What’s funny is that the men in our group all lost weight while all of the women gained weight.)


        September 7, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    • These are also excellent reason for eating at home.

      Abelard Lindsey

      September 6, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    • “Why is our society organized around people eating at home?”

      Because this is how we evolved. People who eat at restaurants will be replaced by people who eat at home. Eating outside of home on a constant basis is an evolutionary dead end and, well, Utopian.


      September 7, 2016 at 2:02 am

  7. Eating at home lets you control what you eat. Kosher? Doesn’t matter what your neighbors eat, you can eat kosher. Gluten intolerance? Same deal.
    Repeat ad nausea.

    Half Canadian

    September 6, 2016 at 2:49 pm

  8. I like dining halls too, but that is mostly because I was around other young smart college students.

    An IRL dining hall would be more like a Denny’s full of DMV line waiters.

    Large government buildings sometimes have nice dining hall style cafeterias with buffets for their employees, but that again is not really open access, even if they are technically open to the public.


    September 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm

  9. I can cook better and faster than the service at any decent restaurant at a fifth the price. And I don’t have to eat in a restaurant full of noisy, nosy strangers.


    September 6, 2016 at 2:57 pm

  10. So Trump up by 2 in today’s CNN poll, but there is a catch: he is up by 2 in the likely voter poll but down by 3 in the registered voter poll.

    If this swing is accurate, and I believe there is at least something to it, then it is evidence of what The Conservative Treehouse calls “the Monster Vote”. People who normally don’t vote showing up to vote for Trump.

    He is down by 6 in SurveyMonkey, which is unchanged from last week, but that is an RV poll. He is down by 2 in Morning Consult, another RV poll, but that is from 3 the week before. Same deal with UPI except UPI is likely voters.

    LA Times has gone from Trump +3 to tied.

    What is happening now is what I was on record predicting 2 or 3 weeks ago: LA Times and Ras were leading indicators. People attacked those polls as being in the tank for Trump but we are already starting to see other polls follow suit. Trump has completely erased the damage he did with his fight with the Khans.

    Let’s keep up the good work and be leading in the polls by the debate.

    Otis the Sweaty

    September 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm

  11. Utopia sounds like a big kibbutz.

    Lion, look up the meaning of the word “slumgullion.”


    September 6, 2016 at 3:25 pm

  12. They eat at home because it takes less time. Yes, its often better (and often worse), yes, its almost always cheaper. But the biggest difference is that it takes less time.

    I just made and at a sandwich in about 10 minutes. I would take 10 minutes just to drive to the nearest restaurant. Then wait to get a table. Then wait to see a waitress. Then wait for my food. Then wait for the check. Then wait for the credit card to be run. Then drive home.



    September 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    • Anonymousse, you clearly live in a car-centric suburb where the nearest restaurant is several miles away; city dwellers typically have multiple places to eat within a block or two.

      I agree with you on the ridiculous hassle of waiting for a table and then being served by another person (whose wage requires a tip).

      But why would you have to “wait for the credit card to be run”? Why not just pay in cash? Isn’t it a faux pas to pay for something as small as a single person’s meal with a credit card? You’re wiping out the restaurant’s profit and handing it all to the bank. Just pay in cash.


      September 7, 2016 at 1:37 am

      • ‘But why would you have to “wait for the credit card to be run”? Why not just pay in cash?’

        Exactly! Live and let live. I’m happy to hear from a sensible man. On this blog they think that you somehow have to make everyone account for every penny they earn. Are most Japanese sensible like you?


        September 7, 2016 at 9:04 am

      • “Are most Japanese sensible like you?”

        I’m actually not Japanese (I’m a native New Yorker), but here in Japan cash is thankfully still king. Credit cards are seen as slightly suspicious, though our Metrocards chips can be used to pay for things if the store has a reader. And it is very safe to carry cash here.

        I think the last time I used a credit card for a non-online transaction was when I was at an import store and realized I didn’t have enough cash. I even bought more than I really wanted to just because to spend under Y2000 (~$20) on a credit card is not fair to the store.


        September 8, 2016 at 8:53 am

      • But are you ethnically Japanese?

        Also, what’s the attitude in Japan to avoiding taxes on cash transactions?


        September 8, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      • Yakov, no, I am Caucasian. And avoiding taxes is a little different here. The customer sees no benefit, but owners of small mom-and-pop shops who don’t earn enough to have to report consumption taxes typically just keep the tax.

        Anywhere else, not paying tax would be completely unthinkable.

        Trivia: Until they raised the consumption tax in 2014, all prices were displayed with the tax included, and designed around the after-tax price (so something might cost 952 yen plus 5% tax, which equals 1000 yen). Now tax has been raised (to a NYC-like 8%), but there is also a government edict that stores not lower prices so as to keep convenient after-tax prices. What the government really wants is for stores to raise prices further, but the stores (who value their customers) aren’t doing it, so despite having the same tax on everything, we’re stuck paying odd amounts all the time (I paid 201 yen, not 200 or 199, for a can of beer) and fiddling with small coins just like in the US where there are lots of different sales tax rates.


        September 9, 2016 at 3:53 am

  13. Two issues here:

    1) Eating out at Restaurants: 99% of restaurants are over priced crap. I always feel I’m being ripped off at these places between the tips for crappy waiters, crappy food, and high prices. Not to mention noise and lack of privacy. And of course driving there and parking and getting ready.

    2) Eating in Cafeterias: this actually convenient especially in the workplace; as long as their is decent food and ample dining room; as well as outdoor seating and room to sit by yourself if so desired.


    September 6, 2016 at 5:11 pm

  14. What about food courts? That seems to be the closest thing we have to public cafeterias. There’s a large common seating area surrounded by takeout booths.

    Most food courts have fast food joints, but there are nicer food courts with more gourmet offerings.


    September 6, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    • The food court at the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead is about three steps below picking your nose and eating it.



      September 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      • a good looking woman once told me she does just that whenever approached by an unattractive man, as a quick and easy way of getting him to go away. it also sends the message that “you’re so unattractive and insignificant, that i don’t care if you think i’m a gross slob”.


        September 8, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      • note to self: Don’t read LOTB while eating your morning oatmeal!


        September 9, 2016 at 8:23 am

  15. Eating out every single meal with children in tow?

    Not a very pretty thought.


    September 6, 2016 at 5:49 pm

  16. I cook, but I also eat out a lot. I’m not averse to sitting with strangers at the communal table for lunch at Le Pain Quotidien and the like; most of my table-mates will be foreigners, as Americans don’t do communal. One thing I do not eat out (or have brought in) is pizza: in less than 2 hours I go from flour, water, yeast, salt, canned tomatoes, and various cheeses to a nice 15″ pizza. Guests (when I have them) are impressed, and wine at home is a fraction of the restaurant price. I don’t find restaurants overpriced, other than for drinks: I figure I’m paying for a certain amount of time in a fairly high-rent district and don’t mind paying for atmosphere or pleasant and attractive waitstaff.


    September 6, 2016 at 6:06 pm

  17. Europeans and a lot of New Yorkers seem to enjoy eating at tables on the sidewalk, even when it’s cold and dark outside.

    Mark Caplan

    September 6, 2016 at 6:34 pm

  18. From 1990 – 2010, I ate lunch at Subway five days a week. I calculated that’s over $25K in Subway sandwiches over 20 years, but there were several free ones when I filled the Subway Club card after ten purchases back when they used to do that. And back in the ’90s, the Subway subs were still $5! I’ve since mostly stopped going to Subway when I found a nearby hospital that has an excellent cafeteria open to the public, but that seems to be a secret; and a decent customer base of docs and nurses that work there.

    But more recently, I’ve been driving the 1.5 mile home for a long lunch for a sandwich and some quiet time.

    At my workplace, nearly everyone disappears solo during lunch to run errands and pick up something quick. A few people eat lunch by themselves in the car. I find that kind of odd.

    E. Rekshun

    September 6, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    • You ate there every day, like Jared? Did you lose weight?

      I remember Subway used to be quite popular in the 90s and early 2000s. It was one of the main fast food alternatives to burgers and fries. I remember it was a good deal back then too. You got a big sub, chips, and a drink and cookie for around 5 bucks.

      It’s not as popular anymore, and it’s not as good a deal as it used to be. Also there are lots of alternative sub shop chains now.


      September 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm

  19. Lion, you are so cute.

    People eat at home because they live on a farm far from town and have a bunch of kids. Back in the day most people lived on farms far from dining halls and had food but not money. This was heavily ingrained in the culture. It was habit so everybody just kept doing it. Sure city folks could do this dining hall thing, but not large families.

    not too late

    September 6, 2016 at 7:18 pm

  20. Got an illegal South American girl to clean your house and cook your food. This is a wonderful choice.


    September 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

  21. the only thing I miss about college is the hot young sluts.

    I feel like I pull better at 32 with college girls than when I was in college myself. I think it is because I simply cannot take people that age seriously so it gives me more confidence when talking to college aged girls.

    Otis the Sweaty

    September 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    • Teach me.


      September 7, 2016 at 1:09 am

      • There is nothing to teach. It’s just about picking out the vulnerable ones.

        Remember that an old man is still a man, which a lot of girls will take over an under 25 guy because, these days, any guy is just a boy until he hits his late 20s.

        Otis the Sweaty

        September 7, 2016 at 4:50 am

      • ‘It’s just about picking out the vulnerable ones.’.

        You are a sexual predator.


        September 9, 2016 at 10:37 am

    • I’m over 50 and still have fun with college-age girls. Note, I said “college-age” girls, not college girls.

      E. Rekshun

      September 7, 2016 at 4:52 am

      • And you used to eat at Subway every day….

        You’re not Jared the Subway guy by any chance, are you?


        September 7, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      • do you ever worry about getting cucked by a younger guy?


        September 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      • do you ever worry about getting cucked by a younger guy?

        A little nip I had at age 40 makes that physically impossible.

        E. Rekshun

        September 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

  22. That is the way things work in Southeast Asian cities. I lived for a year between Vietnam and Thailand and ate from markets or street vendors for 95% of my meals. Super high quality food for what works out to be about $1-2 USD per meal. Unlike Lion, I’m a very good cook and enjoy cooking just fine, but the convenience of food better than anything you can make at home for cheaper than you can make at home can’t be beat. Lion should move to Chiang Mai and live out his personal Utopia.


    September 6, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    • Chiang Mai has more tourists and expats than local people.


      September 7, 2016 at 12:58 am

      • The expat and tourist population is no greater there than in New York, so that should be no problem for Lion. And those tourists and expats are the reason you can get on so easily in Chang Mai without having to learn Thai.


        September 8, 2016 at 1:02 am

  23. 1. Food is a lot cheaper at home.
    2. It’s a lot quicker and more convenient to eat at home.
    3. There are lot of people (homeless, drug addicts, criminals, mentally ill) who you wouldn’t want to eat with at a public food hall.
    4. You have to deal with a large crowd. At home, you only have to deal with a few family members.
    5. Parking issues.
    6. Food is usually unhealthy at restaurants.
    7. It’s easier to customize dishes to your liking at home.
    8. You have to dress up to go out.
    9. You have to regulate your behavior in public. At home, you can say and do almost anything.
    10. You can get drunk at home without having to drive anywhere.


    September 6, 2016 at 8:11 pm

  24. A lot of people are missing the point here.

    Eating at home costs less money because you’re absorbing the implicit cost of time spent grocery shopping, preparing the food, and cleaning the dishes. If your time is worth anything to you, you don’t enjoy all of those tasks, and you do enjoy eating out, then eating out may well be cheaper than cooking at home.

    Restaurants are capable of serving food more efficiently than what home cooks can prepare because of specialization, especially in 1-2 person households. I often cook for 1, but in many cases it wouldn’t be that much more work to cook for 5.

    The problem may be that sometimes your tastes don’t align with those of people in your area, so that the only options available at a reasonable price don’t suit your tastes or your preferred level of healthfulness.

    All that said, that people who have a regular pub may have something closer to the college cafeteria experience. Some people in some places sacrifice the ability to eat sushi one night and Italian another for the opportunity to form a camaraderie with their neighbors.


    September 6, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    • the amount of time spent cooking can be significantly reduced by cooking stews/casserole type dishes in very large batches and eating them over the next couple of days. i have a pot of chili con carne in my fridge that i made today that cost about $20 to make – it will last me 6-7 days. there is no way eating at restaurants can be cheaper tahn that, and going out to a restaurant has time/other costs involved (driving to the restaurant etc).

      james n.s.w

      September 7, 2016 at 11:39 am

      • Why not cook a month’s supply and freeze it?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 7, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      • Because you don’t freeze stew. You eat it stewing. I do it almost every day: defrost it at night, put it on in the morning, eat a portion before gym and a portion after. Get a Spanish girl to prepare for you 20 bags and you don’t have to think about it, like I’d told you already.


        September 7, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      • Why not cook a month’s supply and freeze it?

        And that, my friend, is onne of the reasons communism doesn’t work. Central planners make suggestions that someone who’s actually doing it would naturally know not to do. Let me explain.

        I cook a couple of pounds of dried beans in the slow cooker every week and get a couple of family meals out of it. There’s no point in making more to freeze because the effort required to make a batch isn’t that great. And that amount of beans already maxes out my 7qt crock. Freezing would also add a lot of time because thawing takes a lot longer than simply heating it up. Plus, I would have to freeze it in batches that could be thawed out. Probably ziploc bags or something. Which would be messy and take up space in the freezer. It’s so much easier just to make a weekly batch.

        The only stuff I freeze besides things that come frozen is raw meat. I’ll usually cook enough to have leftovers. But I don’t cook extra food just to freeze. In fact, I make sure not to cook more than I can eat before it goes off. Cooking isn’t that hard. You just need more practice.


        September 8, 2016 at 11:09 am

      • ‘And that, my friend, is onne of the reasons communism doesn’t work.’

        But capitalism does! The Spanish girl gets paid to make my frozen portions. She is encouraged to be creative about the mix and gets feedback on how she is doing. I let her make whatever she thinks is good, but she knows that I’m crazy about yucca, cabbage and ginger. When I feel like keema, I make it myself because I don’t trust anyone with that though.

        And defrosting is nothing, just take it out the night before and put it in the sink.


        September 8, 2016 at 8:10 pm

  25. This one’s easy Lion, you should be able to figure this one out yourself. Even though Utopia is impossible and in Greek means “place that does not exist”. If there was such a place, the one thing they could never have is “diversity”. Conformity is the only harmony on Earth. Whether religion, culture or race, differences lead only to disputes, arguments and even wars. Many veterans of combat that went to the Nam or The Middle East will still not venture to Chuck E. Cheese on Martin Looter Kang Day. Just think, Martin Looter Kang gave his life so Americans could know what parts of town to avoid and what day you should not go to Chuck E. Cheese on.

    Joshua Sinistar

    September 6, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    • It’s more likely that the U in utopia is a version of the Greek ‘eu’ prefix, which means good. It would make more sense to name one’s book about how awesome a reason-based city or whatever ‘Good Place’ rather than ‘Impossible Place.

      What other words have the U prefix anyway?


      September 9, 2016 at 11:04 pm

  26. I enjoy cooking. While I’m far from an expert,.it’s still a fun activity.



    September 6, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    • Maybe you should blog a little about your cooking. I’ve checked out your blog a few times, and you’ve never mentioned cooking before.


      September 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm

  27. Time commitment and convenience. I can go shopping and buy enough food to last the whole week, which allows me to eat what I want whenever I want. The inconvenience of having to leave home and go stand in line at a cafeteria makes cooking at home a superior option, generally speaking.

    Jeff R.

    September 6, 2016 at 9:49 pm

  28. Eating at home would be an aspect of “ownlife” as Orwell would have put it in 1984.

    Joseph Moroco

    September 6, 2016 at 10:11 pm

  29. Because Lucullus dines with Lucullus.


    September 6, 2016 at 10:45 pm

  30. OT: George Zimmerman was a Twitter trending topic most of the day. But he merited not one single mention from Chuck Ross, who jump-started his career from Gucci Little Piggy blogger to Daily Caller contributor by covering the trial and getting into the Zimmerman family’s good graces.

    Chuck Ross also hit up his readers to fund his trip to Florida to cover the trial. Say what you want about Zimmerman, but it’s too bad that he had to be Chuck Ross’ stepping stone.

    Just a reminder that even cool-seeming alt-right people will act like they are too good for us once they get married and land a respectable job.


    September 6, 2016 at 10:50 pm

  31. i don’t even care about waitstaff. the interaction with them is really phony especially in the u.s where theytake tips so they are all competing to pretend to be nice to you when they wouldnt give you the time of day outside the restaurant, all they want is my money.the fact that there’s probably more people working as wait staff than on assembly lines in modern industrial economies makes you really think about just how trivial ‘work’ even become. i’d rather just grab my own plate from the restaurant counter and eat it rather than have people bring it ot my table if it could save me money.

    james n.s.w

    September 6, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    • Nothing phony about waitstaff, mate. The good ones are very entertaining and give you an insight into your choices. They aren’t your friends, you know, but they are doing an important job. A lousy waiter is a pain, but a good one enhances the meal and is worth a good tip.

      Like I was at a fancy place and the waiter upsold us a meat dish that they called a ‘dinosaur’. It was actually called so in the menu. We laughed our heads of and it was delicious! Also, many times they can get you things not on the menu. This ‘dinousaur’ guy knows my preference for dry white wines and keeps stuff for me that they had rotated out of temporarily. So I have a real choice. Helps being related to the owner though, lol!

      There is a rich guy that has his own table and his own menu. Nobody sits by that table, ever! He pays to have it reserved for him. He doesn’t care! Now this is rich! Or is it being a swine? I’m not sure, maybe both. All he eats is stakes and ‘dinousaurs’ made to his precise specs.


      September 7, 2016 at 2:24 am

      • What kind of animal does the “dinosaur” meat come from?


        September 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      • Dinosaur is beef. Amazing beef.


        September 7, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      • Is it barbecue beef ribs?


        September 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

  32. This was actually used to be quite popular. My dad after he graduated college and was living alone and beginning his career purchased a meal plan where he would go the same place every night of the week and eat. For some reason these places don’t exist anymore.


    September 7, 2016 at 12:38 am

    • My great grandmother and great grandfather each lived in boarding houses when they moved to NYC while young. Single-sex, of course, but it was very cheap and they were able to enjoy their lives to a degree that would be unthinkable for the working class aspiring to live in Manhattan in 2016. The house mother (or whatever she was called) would cook for the residents, and the residents could make requests.

      It seems like this kind of semi-communal way for young people to get by in the city is completely gone compared to what was on offer a century ago.


      September 7, 2016 at 1:52 am

      • In novels and movies made before the 1960s, middle-class Americans were sometimes depicted iving permanently in nice hotels. They either ate out or used room service. Those with lesser incomes lived in boarding houses, where again they never had to cook for themselves.

        Mark Caplan

        September 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    • Probably a private supper club. They all disappeared in the 60s and 70s because, you know, racist.

      Sagi Is My Guru

      September 7, 2016 at 6:54 am

  33. In Singapore, it’s the norm to eat at foodcourts many times per week.

    Eating at home is the norm in the West to be together as a family.


    September 7, 2016 at 1:16 am

    • Singapore is crowded as hell. People do anything to get out of their little sardine can apartments.


      September 7, 2016 at 12:34 pm

  34. A meal at home is the time to thoughtfully thank the Lord before and after the meal and to educate your family. Restaurants are generally not conducive to piety. Proper intention while eating is more important than the food itself.

    Everything has its place in life: fast food joints, expensive restaurants, and eating at home. The problem is trying to come up with one size fits fotmula and claiming it’s the best. Why people keep doing it? If a choice is to be forced on us, then eating at home is the best, because of the above mentioned reasons: praying and education.

    Spending a Shabbat in a Jerusalem hotel recently was the best of all worlds though. Jews of all walks of life eating together a royal meal with endless buffet of roasted lamb, among other things, was totally awesome.

    My Latin girl made for me a beaf stew with yucca, cabbage, barley and a bunch of other veggies. I come home from work and it’s in the crock pot ready to be blessed and eaten. And the freezer has packages with various stewes ready for the week, the house is spotless. This is a real Utopia and better then what More had in mind, or at least this is what I think.


    September 7, 2016 at 1:46 am

    • Yakov I find you to be a a fascinating commenter, without fail.


      September 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

      • Thanks, I’m just a little creature trying g to make it.


        September 7, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      • I love reading Yakov too. So much heart he shares. Everybody here adds spice to the stew; Maryk, JS, Gothamette, E. Reckshun, etc. Wish we could all break bread together once.

        Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

        September 8, 2016 at 4:54 pm

  35. My employer (in Tokyo, Japan) has “free” food in two cafeterias for employees.

    Some not-well-connected thoughts on it:

    The hours are strictly regulated (12:00-14:00 for lunch and 19:00-21:00 for dinner) and everyone knows that the “free” dinner is strategically timed so that people will stay in the office working until 7 PM so that they can eat it, but it’s still pretty nice to have, because the restaurants in the neighborhood where I work are mostly too expensive for the people who work nearby to eat there.

    Socially, it is fine, but one of the pleasures of eating (as an adult, certainly) is having the exact food you want to have. At a corporate cafeteria, while you get a choice between five or six different dishes, you can’t make adjustments to volume. Want two spoonfuls of yogurt? Too bad.

    And because we have them, we have no provision for employees bringing their own food in, so there is (for example) no employee refrigerator. I sometimes think I would give up the cafeteria to have a refrigerator, because the ambient temperature (above 28 C, or 82.4 F) is so hot that I continuously drink water just to stay hydrated.


    September 7, 2016 at 1:49 am

    • I would give up cafeteria AND refrigerator to have AC. Do they at least have yellowtail sushi rolls?

      Why are you living there? You work slave hours in terrible heat and humidity, can’t afford to eat out, what’s the reason?


      September 7, 2016 at 7:31 am

      • I don’t work slave hours — I typically work either the swing shift from 13:00 to 22:00 or the overnight shift from 21:00 to 06:00, and there is no pressure to put in unpaid overtime then. It’s great!

        I actually want to move back to my native NYC, but I was long ago priced out! ^_^;


        September 8, 2016 at 8:47 am

      • Those are pretty odd hours. Are you a security guard or something?


        September 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

      • @Tom: I work in finance. Day shift means processing and reconciling Shanghai and Hong Kong stocks and being there to hand the baton over to the person doing US equities, which begin at 21:30 local time. The night shift is basically US operations and other end-of-day stuff.

        I can’t imagine a non-national getting a visa to be a security guard, though of course someone on a spouse visa could do it. Japan is very, very strict about visas and immigration. It’s probably an old wives’ tale, but the story is that a restaurant owner here on an entrepreneur visa who suddenly found his restaurant shorthanded would be deported if he cooked or brought food to customers himself.


        September 9, 2016 at 3:41 am

  36. Off topic…

    ITT degree mill closing its doors after feds pull guaranteed student loans.

    As discussed on this blog in the past, the business models underpinning these scams won’t work without all risk being placed on taxpayers.

    The grip

    September 7, 2016 at 3:20 am

  37. Restaurants with communal tables are becoming popular. Why don’t you eat at those places if you are seeking a communal experience while eating?


    September 7, 2016 at 4:22 am

  38. Zoning gets in the way.


    September 7, 2016 at 7:22 am

  39. Also, a lot of people have this crazy phobia of eating alone in public. They think the people at the surrounding tables are laughing at them or something.

    I could care less, I’ve even eaten at expensive places by myself, at a table right in the middle of the floor.


    September 7, 2016 at 8:36 am

  40. Just stay at home and eat bachelor chow:


    September 7, 2016 at 9:22 am

  41. We ate in a popular restaurant here last night. It was so freaking noisy, and like most places they were blasting some pop hip with vocals over a crowd of 60-somethings so you couldn’t hear to talk. God I miss Muzak. And every 5 minutes the waitress comes by to ask, “How’s it tastin’?”

    A cafeteria wouldn’t have the last problem but the few remaining cafeteria places I know still have the awful music and ambient noise. I guess we’re supposed to like that.

    I would rather not go out at all anymore, but am afraid DH would get tired of my cooking.

    Mrs Stitch

    September 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    • …pop hiphop I was trying to say. White stuff, like a nicer version of Beastie Boys or Kid Rock. Just what you want to hear while dining.

      Mrs Stitch

      September 7, 2016 at 12:52 pm

  42. The latest Trump surge is starting to be reflected in RCP:

    How high will it go?


    September 7, 2016 at 1:51 pm

  43. In many places such as 3rd world cities eating out at stalls is common as they often don’t have full kitchens. If I remember correctly ancient Romans had to eat at takeaway stalls, known Thermopolium as they didn’t have ovens. So maybe being able to cook at home for city dwellers was historically an aspirational thing. Also maybe cooking at home if safer due to decentralisation, as odds are you don’t come in to contact with as many people and the effects of improperly prepared food are likely to be limited to a family.

    With the thoughts you'd be thinkin

    September 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    • I wanted to share this about the Romans too. You beat me.

      I remember learning this tidbit but it was part of my eye-opening about how variable lifestyles across cultural history are and that what we take for granted is hardly universal and will probably change.

      I’m observing a growing trend of unrelated non-family individuals living together. As housing becomes more expensive and as families are delayed or indefinitely cancelled, ‘roommates’ may become the rule rather than the exception to save money and fight the existential loneliness of our atomised metropoles.

      Also check out this essay

      It left me feeling completely disoriented and nauseated. I felt like Huxley’s Savage after observing a superficial community of rootless & heartless adventurers chasing experiences and fleeing their own roots & souls. Probably a taste of the future? More evidence why immortality would probably be a curse when we outlive the world and values that forged us.

      Perhaps worth a discussion among our community of bright minds and deep hearts?

      Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

      September 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    • White urban England is a bit like that, you sleep in your tiny apartment and have the pub as your living room. Except of course if you belong to the better classes of people.


      September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

  44. There was a funny cafeteria story out of San Francisco just the other day. Tommy’s Joynt is a venerable “Hof-Brau” style place where they carve you a nice sandwich out of a hunk of beef turning on a spit. Community seating. Anyway, a fourth-string tight end who had been cut by the 49’ers and who was apparently broke came in and was swiping people’s sandwiches off their plates. Later he punched out a 70 year old man at a hotel.


    September 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    • TNB…


      September 8, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      • Perhaps, but in this case it was a white guy.


        September 9, 2016 at 12:40 pm

  45. As someone wrote, he probably gets this from Plato’s Republic. (if you have a lot of time, you might consider this one next, if you want to do “classics of political philosophy”…)

    But consider also how laborious the preparation of a meal was in the 1500s (often involved butchering animals etc.). You could prepare a much better meal if you cooked for more people because then it would be worth the effort! This was before the nuclear family. Households were large (people used to brew their own beer!) with many children, servants, aunts, grandparents etc.
    Until the early/mid 20th century it was not uncommon for single persons to join the main meal of a large family for a reasonable fee (because it was cheaper than a pub).

    Nowadays home cooked food gets you usually much better quality for the price if you know a little about cooking.


    September 7, 2016 at 3:57 pm

  46. I like eating at home because I am not a pig being fed by a farmer at a trough. If you think that ‘delicious meals’ are going to be provided by the State then you have a much higher opinion of the State than I do.


    September 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm

  47. What is the next question? Why do people sleep at home? Home is the place where people feel safe to sleep, eat, and do several other important things.

    My Two Ccents

    September 7, 2016 at 5:53 pm

  48. would there be seperate dining halls for different social classes? otherwise, you’d have proles and swpls eating more or less the same food, in the same restaurant, maybe even sitting at the same table. i don’t think that would go over very well. although it might help proles learn about portion control.


    September 7, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    • It’s like 1984. Victory Gin for the outer party and Victory Lager for the proles. Proles are happy with their beer and aren’t much interested in infringing on upper’s turf.

      If I go to Arby’s for lunch today, not much danger of seeing SWPLs there.
      They can keep their sustainable, artisan, organic horse pucky.

      Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

      September 8, 2016 at 4:40 pm

  49. I made a grilled half pound salmon filet, green salad, and French fries with ice tea for dinner. That was $4 in food. Local eatery would of got a minimum of $12, but probably more like $14+ and then tax and tip add 25%. I can feed myself for a week on what two restaurant meals cost. Eating out is just a piss poor deal, there’s a reason why females are so hepped up about it, they are spending somebody else’s money.

    Relative is a chef, told me he wants food costs to be 33% of plate cost. He’ll go 50% when it’s a steak and lobster because the dollars are so big. Pasta might be 15%, but you got to push hundreds a night to make any money. Restaurant when it’s busy with a high cost menu is like printing money, it’s why so many want to get into it.


    September 7, 2016 at 10:28 pm

  50. There’s nothing worse than a vending machine sandwich. But at least you’re not eating at home.

    E. Rekshun

    September 8, 2016 at 12:53 am

  51. Most are missing the assumptions and economic merits of Moore’s argument. You cannot compare what he’s arguing for to dining out at restaurants. Like most utopias, his is socialistic. Economies of scale mean the price would be lower than not only a restaurant, but however you would cook the same meal yourself. It’s a net time saver because of the division of labor. Instead of having a bunch of people cooking their own individual meal, it would all be prepared by staff.

    The idealized version might resemble something like Facebook’s cafeteria, where the food is free. Now that’s “free” like how the highways are “free”; someone’s paying for it. I’m sure some libertarianish employees grumble that the food is coming at the expense of their labor, and, all things being equal, they’d prefer to have higher wages.


    September 8, 2016 at 1:09 am

  52. the whole Sty assembles in the dining-hall

    Was anyone else reminded of the National Lampoon Bored of the Rings, the LOTR parody in which “the Shire” is called “the Sty”? (“It takes a heap o’ vittles to gag a Boggie!”)

    We use Dream Dinners:

    Once a month you go to the Dream Dinners store and make a months worth of food which you take home and put in the freezer. It’s awesome! We used to shop for one meal at a time fairly often, but now we don’t have that aggravation.


    September 8, 2016 at 8:04 am

    • Your freezer must be bigger than the average New York apartment.

      Mark Caplan

      September 9, 2016 at 7:21 am

      • Nah. A month of food easily fits into a regular freezer. Each meal fits in a gallon freezer bag.


        September 10, 2016 at 1:33 am

  53. The last statistic I read said you were twice as likely to get food poisoning when eating out. Eating at home is safer…just like sex.


    September 8, 2016 at 11:27 am

  54. So many thoughts…

    1) People have strong opinions on this subject. A couple of years ago, a Norwegian newspaper article concluded that buying lunch was often cheaper than bringing a homemade lunch to work. The online commenters were infuriated! Readers were deeply offended. Norway is an obscenely rich and expensive country, but homemade lunches are a cultural mainstay. One reader after another argued that homemade lunches were cheaper. Period. Everyone made an economic argument. Strangely, no one thought it was enough to say, “I just like making my own lunch.”

    2) Middle America is bursting at the seams with restaurants! Every town big enough to support McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Taco Bell, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Perkins, Chipotle, etc., will have every single one of those restaurants and more. Middle Americans are not eating all of their meals at home.

    3) People are lonely. It’s nice to eat out with other people. At times, being surrounded by strangers is preferable to isolation, but sometimes eating by yourself in a public place reinforces feelings of isolation. It can be painful. There are brief scenes in the movie Sideways that portray this poignantly.


    September 8, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    • How does that work? Are groceries more expensive than eating out in Norway? Do people splurge on homemade lunches there?

      I don’t know if it’s because of the exchange rate or whatever, but eating out in Europe is a lot more expensive than eating out in the US, at least when I’ve visited.

      A lot of those restaurants you mention in Middle America are fast food joints. The rest tend to be corporate chain restaurants that have different themes and decor, but tend to have food that tastes pretty much the same. I think a lot of their food is mass produced by the same suppliers and just reheated in the restaurants. So there’s actually much less variety in restaurants in Middle America than meets the eye.


      September 9, 2016 at 1:30 am

      • “How does that work?” I can’t remember the details of the argument, but aside from frozen cod everything is expensive in Norway. What interested me was the intense reaction stirred up by an article about lunch.

        “So there’s actually much less variety in restaurants in Middle America than meets the eye.” Indeed. There’s almost no variety at all. The retail districts of Midwestern towns all look the same.


        September 9, 2016 at 11:55 am

  55. Why don’t you periodically host ‘waterside suppers with riparian entertainments’? Invite your neighbors.


    September 9, 2016 at 3:39 am

    • I know where you got that phrase from, but I wonder how many LOTB readers know! As Onslow would say, “oh, nice.”


      September 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

  56. Ikea has a cafeteria style restaurant in their stores.

    Are there any stores that have a setup like that?


    September 9, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    • The Target I occasionally go to has a dining area w/ pre-made sandwiches and donuts. I actually was so hungry one time that I ate their before picking up a few things. It wasn’t bad. I used to have lunch at an excellent hidden, small restaurant on the second floor of a Macys at the Tampa International Mall.

      E. Rekshun

      September 9, 2016 at 5:59 pm

  57. ‘When I attended college, everyone ate at a cafeteria. I have to say that I liked that system a lot better. Why can’t that system of eating be expanded beyond college?’

    When I was at H. U. my future wife used to cook for me in the dorm kitchen. That cooking was a big feather in her hat. When in college, your girl is supposed to do that for you. A Turkish guy told me that in Turkey a future bride serves coffee to the groom and his family to demonstrate her readiness for marriage. And that coffee had better meet the expectations or nothing doing. Good tradition.

    The problem with communal dinning isn’t just the food, it’s also the schedule. Not everybody needs to eat the same thing at the same time. Even when it comes to something basic like beer or boiled eggs people have very different tastes.

    Now, More was looking for a way to feed everybody, I think. So when it comes to that, having a communal meal is better then having no meal at all. So I agree with him that it’s a good idea for forced labor battalions of lazy bums, but the normal way is for a man to get the food and for a woman to prepare and serve it. She doesn’t have to necessarily do it hands on, but she needs to manage the domestic staff that does it. More meant well, but people have proven him wrong by being capable of much more.

    Kibbutz Kfar Etzion was like that. A great place in and by itself, but being recently out of USSR I couldn’t take it after a week. It’s a very safe, secure existence though. Like if you want to have 10 kids it’s perfect. Everybody contributes according to his ability and consumes according to his needs. These guys had realy lived the socialist ideals. Kibbutz Alumim proudly displays these principals on its website today. It’s actually quite amazing. Again, Jews were the only ones who were actually capable of implementing this vision, even if for a very limited number of people.


    September 10, 2016 at 9:23 pm

  58. Cooking has become such a rare skill that it has competitive value in dating and marriage, especially for women. Every man I’ve dated has been impressed by my cooking and baking, particularly as I’ve managed not to get overweight. My ex-husband still misses my food. Currently I enjoy showing up my boyfriend’s ex-wife, who only prepared convenience foods, despite being a “stay at home mom” for years.


    September 12, 2016 at 9:47 pm

  59. I hear most of the high end restaurants are doing OK, but almost all of the small Mom and Pop style family places have died out. Those fast food eateries are scary. They still have meat on the dollar menu even though ground beef is like $5 a pound. I’m not sure what the hell kind of meat they’re selling on the dollar menu but usually only ghetto dwellers are dumb enough to make that a daily meal. That GMO Frankenfood is rather scary too. I’m not sure what those poindexter aspies think they’re doing putting fish DNA into Tomatoes, but this isn’t going to end well. Congress just let GMO foods be sold at the market unlabeled. This must be the worst government in Western History here.

    Joshua Sinistar

    September 15, 2016 at 1:05 am

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