When I read older cookbooks about various cuisines, the author will say that the way to eat the best food is in someone’s home, where the really good food is cooked, not a restaurant. Now, restaurants are celebrated in many cookbooks.
If I never ate in a restaurant again, that would be fine with me. I get much healthier food at home, and it tastes much better.
This is a somewhat shocking statement in a nation where most adults do not know how to cook, and where more people are eating out than ever before. A nation where cookery is treated as a mystery understood only by celebrity chefs, and where the convenience of eating out and buying heat and serve meals has become a way of life.
It was not always that way.
It used to be that most families had at least one good cook, sometimes several, and people preferred to eat the good real food they had at home. Restaurants were for special occasions, and their food had to be really good or no one would go there. Unfortunately, that is no longer true.
The best real food is cooked at home.
The Trouble with Restaurants
I have a number of problems with most of today’s restaurants.
First: Food quality, or rather the lack of it. Most restaurants use cheap, factory ingredients. Many chain restaurants and fast food places do no cooking other than heating prepackaged food in a microwave. The food is prepared in a central kitchen, frozen, and then shipped to the various locations where it is actually served. When cooking actually occurs in a restaurant, the worst factory oils such as soy and canola are commonly used. GMOs, CAFO meat, and factory produce are the standard, because they are much cheaper than real food. In the rare place where quality ingredients are actually used, the prices are extremely high, and the actual quality is often not as good as advertised.
Second: Many people get sick after eating at restaurants, ranging from feeling stuffed and bloated to something serious. While poor quality food is a factor, often a lack of basic sanitation is the real culprit. If you want to see how bad it can get, just watch a couple of episodes of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.
Third: Many restaurants, especially those who claim to have higher quality food, serve tiny portions of the choice ingredients, combined with larger portions of something cheap. The current practice of “plating,” where food is arranged to be “artistic,” is usually just an ingenious way to serve less food to the customers, saving costs. Quite frankly, I see nothing attractive about spots and swirls of sauce, and vast expanses of emptiness on a plate.
Fourth: In most cases, wherever you go, the food is just not that tasty. Usually it is mediocre at best.
The emphasis on profit and speed is not consistent with good meals. And most restaurants just cost too much, always more than you would think, once you add in the tax, tips, and drinks.
Now, there are exceptions, restaurants that serve clean quality food, skillfully prepared, with decent portions. Most of these exceptions are extremely expensive, but there are a few that are reasonable.
Good luck in finding them.
Home Cooked Meals Are Best
When you learn to cook, you set yourself free. You are no longer dependent on restaurants or packaged meals, but can select grassfed meat and real food, and be certain that you and your family are eating high quality food, which our bodies so desperately need.
You can keep a clean kitchen, and know that no one who eats your food will feel stuffed or sick from your cooking.
You will also find that it is much less expensive to do your own cooking, especially if you shop wisely for quality ingredients.
And here is another secret—most cooking is easy, once you have a little experience. In fact, quality ingredients such as grassfed meat and organic produce do not require much seasoning or skill to be absolutely delicious. My cookbooks, Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue, teach how to cook absolutely delicious grassfed meat—the easy way.
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