I spent a few minutes this morning reading about restaurant chains that are doing quite well in the U.S. Some of them have been around for a while and others are new and currently riding the waves of faddish popularity. Gary and I rarely eat out anymore due to conflicting schedules, cost, and a general lack of interest on my part. Since becoming a pescetarian I have found that most local restaurants give only a passing less-than-creative thought to vegetarians, and even if they do have a tasty dish it is loaded with salt.
I never eat “fast food” of any kind because of the salt, sugar, and fat contained in most of it. And of course most fast food is based on a meat product of some kind. Don’t tell me about the options at Subway- don’t like. The last time I tried a stop at a Mexican chain for a bean burrito I was so disappointed in the quality and taste I decided to cross that off my list as well. If I know I’m going to be out shopping during lunch time I just take a snack with me.
It has also occurred to me in recent years, because of a few specific problems, that eating in a restaurant is an act of faith, and frankly I can’t always muster up enough faith to be a happy diner. As you know, I’m a bit OCD and while not germaphobic, I am at least well aware of public opportunities for contagious contact. I don’t like for a waitress to remove my glass from the table in order to refill it. I look closely at glasses and utensils and don’t like to find lipstick on either (been there, done that). I drink only through a straw. Not a fan of buffets anymore, although my husband still enjoys them. Other people, especially children, touch things and don’t keep them. I once saw a child lick a cucumber slice, make a face, and put it back in the bowl! Of course I reported that to the waitress. I have my doubts about eating anything that is not cooked and served hot. Love those places where the waitress says, “Be careful, the plate is very hot”.
Unfortunately my “act of faith” concept has begun to creep into my grocery shopping experience. I have a few concerns about eating food grown or manufactured in other countries…not that our standards are always the best or that our government always monitors food safety the way it should! I read labels and sometimes wonder if everything that is in a product is really listed on the label. I wonder how it was manufactured and how clean the facilities were. Random thoughts that will probably lead to growing more of my own food.
Oh, my biggest laugh each week is watching people use those anti-bacterial wipes to clean their shopping cart. Do they not understand that every single item in the store has been touched by human hands? Nothing jumps up on the shelf by itself!! And products are continuously straightened. They are removed and returned to the shelves by customers. They are dropped on the floor. They are left in other departments and later returned to their proper location.
I guess the bottom line is that putting anything into our bodies is an act of faith. We depend on other people to do their best to make our food safe. I’ll try not to get phobic about it.