Today, for many of us, eating well at lunchtime has become a real challenge. We often lack time, options or money during our lunch breaks. Especially if we follow a special diet or if our workplace is far from everything. Our choices for varying pleasures are thus even more limited. So also the time available for the meal, already very short, greatly reduced.
In these conditions we find ourselves eating quickly and badly, which will irreparably lead to weight problems, health problems and a lack of energy to face the afternoon.
On the other hand, catering to take away has more and more followers. Fast-food, Food Trucks and other sandwiches offer practical and quick solutions. Unfortunately, there is also a huge amount of single-use waste.
So whether it is to reduce waste, eat more balanced food or even to save money, I explain here why bringing your meal to the office (or elsewhere) is a very good solution.
Bring a lunchbox for a healthy and balanced diet
Cooking your own meal is the easiest way to control the quantities and ingredients you need. When preparing your meal, you can also balance the amounts of salt, sugar or fat used. In restaurants, the dishes are often rich and served in too large quantities. When you can't spend too much, you won't always have access to the best ingredients.
In particular, you will avoid all processed foods that are often used in restaurants because of their profitability, but which carry many health risks.
By bringing your lunchbox to the office, you can also more easily choose fresher, tastier and more nutritious local and seasonal products.
Another advantage is that you will save time and be able to take a real break. Ideally, you should sit for 20 minutes to eat your meal, because that's how long it takes your brain to receive the information you had enough to eat.
Bring a lunchbox to reduce waste
It should be noted that takeaway catering is the main source of urban littering. Indeed, this mode of feeding generates a large quantity of waste, plastic packaging and cutlery, napkins and paper cups among others.
Not without risks for the environment since most of these products are made of non-renewable materials and are difficult to recycle. In particular, the containers contaminated by food, which is equivalent to saying almost all of them!
Taking your bento box to work is therefore also an ecological approach to reduce waste.
Bring a lunchbox to save money
You don't have to be a financial genius to understand that taking your homemade meal is cheaper than going to the canteen or restaurant. However, here are some figures to help us see things more clearly:
- The average price of a restaurant meal in the United States in 2019 is $15 per person.
- In a collective restaurant, this price is on average half as expensive, i. e. $7.50
- An American person spends in average $7.64 per day on food.
I estimate it myself at a monthly saving of 50%. But more important to me than the economic factor, I find that the main advantage of carrying a meal box is to be able to eat healthier and especially to reduce my waste.
What is batch-cooking ?
As its name suggests, It means to cook in batches (in one go). Batch-cooking is therefore a method of cooking or preparing all your meals of the week in advance.
Of course, you have to take the time to do everything at once, and the goal is not to make a single dish in larger quantities to eat the same thing all week long. However, the time saving is really real. Instead of wasting time cooking every night, you take 2-3 hours on Sundays to idealize and cook a varied menu that you can assemble during the week according to your desires.
For example, if you are planning a squash gratin, consider making larger quantities for soup or other dishes. On the internet you will find many recipes and tips for successful batch-cooking.