Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Make It or Buy It?

We live in a capitalist society where we often buy instead of make. Think about it, these days, we purchase clothes off a hanger instead of mending our own from scratch. We go to restaurants because we either want something different or are too lazy to cook food ourselves. The average person doesn't need instructions on how to make a computer chip, because we often buy them already in a computer. We're definitely a buy it society, but buying it, adds up! However, my thoughts drifted this morning as I spent approximately a combined 30 minutes eating breakfast and making my lunch, as I do every morning.

While cheaper in terms of actual dollars spent, many of my colleagues choose to purchase breakfast and lunch at work instead of bringing their own. Heck, when it comes to walking in with my cooler, ready for the day, I'm a black sheep. I'm convinced the food in the cafeteria is either only mildly marked up or the company subsidizes portions of it. My coworkers save 15 or so minutes in the morning by buying food. I guess purchasing is a factor of how much your time is worth. But there's another aspect to purchasing versus making. Making is often much healthier for you (at least the way I eat). After spending a considerable amount of time in the south, I can say that they definitely need healthier food.

Further, these health aspects are a front and center discussion among members of our administration. "Sin" taxes as people like to refer to them, are being drafted as we speak. An extra 3 cents for a sugar-sweetened 12 oz. beverage? Is that going to keep you from enjoying soda-pop? It is an interesting concept to target specific foods, why not tax sugar instead? Additionally, think about the fried food, nothing about it can be good for you. Don't get me wrong, onion rings are in my top 5 vices, so I'm not advocating for extra taxes at all. I just want to know where it stops. The administration is looking to change behavior and I wonder if this behavior is ingrained in our buy it society. Many schools have discontinued physical education programs and I have no idea the amount of nutritional education available these days. Would implementing those routes be a better answer to our problem? In the meantime, I’ll do my part of make my lunch and get to the gym as often as possible.

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