Why dashboard dining is a table for one

Hi there and it's good to be back from holidays. I had a great break and enjoyed spending more time with the kids. Thanks to all the guest bloggers who filled in while I was away. 

Dermot on the beach

Back to the blog in hand.

My work at safefood involves a range of food issues and when I think about my own experiences with food, I consider myself lucky.

Lucky to have had a mostly comfortable upbringing and supportive family, where getting together to eat was a core part of our day. And lucky when growing up, to have had access to good food.

My mother, like so many on this island, would have been a loyal footsoldier in that silent army of mothers; those faithful regiments who worked full-time at home, raised children, shopped, cleaned and cooked.

Cooked food from scratch.

Gave me and my siblings liver on Tuesdays (still yuck after all these years!) and fish on Fridays. And cod liver oil by the spoonful during the winter months...eeuurgh

Our lives have changed a lot since then. I’m now a parent myself and my wife and I both work. More and more, both parents work fulltime with frequently long hours and often stressful jobs; commuting to schools, work and shopping takes up more of our time; the pace of modern life is hectic. Thanks to technology and consumer demand, we can now eat what we want, when we want. "Ding ding" (microwave) and "ding dong" (takeaway) are sounds heard more frequently in home kitchens.

When a colleague told me recently that 25% of the food we eat is from outside the home, I was genuinely surprised.

And then I remembered some recent survey that the average office desk is hundreds of times dirtier than a toilet seat, I felt as bad as when I knew the cod liver oil was coming..

(No, hang on. The cod liver oil spoon is still worse.)

My mother doesn't cook anymore and is lucky that someone cooks for her. And while she loves me to bits, she would be very annoyed that I eat most of my Monday-to-Friday-food at my desk.

Let's face it.

The solitary confinement of me; my laptop and a soggy tuna and sweetcorn sandwich is a lonely table for one. And when it becomes a habit, your colleagues always expect to find you there during lunchtime...which means you answer their calls with a mouthful of half-chewed tuna. And they get to listen to sounds of eating and try to guess what's in your soggy sandwich today.

I know many of us have busy jobs and every minute can be precious. But even taking 15 minutes out to enjoy your lunch, whether on your own or with your colleagues gives your brain time to relax.

And have itself a little brain-sleep. Zzzzzzz. And importantly, give your body time to digest the food you've just eaten.

So my resolution for the rest of this year is to abandon my dashboard restaurant for good and give my food, the time and attention it deserves.

My mother would be proud.

Posted: 06/09/2010 14:46:43 by Colman Kelly
Filed under: Cooking, Shopping

About Me

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Colman Kelly
Hi, I’m Dermot Moriarty and I’m the communications manager for safefood. My background is in advertising & public relations and I work on our awareness campaigns, promotional activities and market research. I’m also an occasional blogger. In my spare time, I’m a fan of history books, sport and cooking (though not all at the same time) and am trying to get back into running. I live in Co. Dublin with my wife and two young boys who are growing up way too fast.