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Eating In vs. Eating Out: Pros and Cons

Food is a category that determines the nature of a particular society. Fashion, influencing food culture, forms the choice of products, as well as the idea of cooking. In the modern world, more people stop cooking at home, or do it rarely, because a fast pace of life sometimes does not leave even an hour a day to cook homemade food. Meanwhile, the restaurant industry is actively developing, offering diverse cuisine and quality service. Eating at home and eating in a restaurant differ much in terms of price, safety, taste, service, and the quality of products.

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Proper nutrition is key to good health and longevity. However, the most wholesome meal is the one cooked at home. A family that eats at home knows that only fresh products have been added to their meal. They know exactly what ingredients and in what quantity have been used. A paste made of all familiar ingredients looks more attractive than a suspicious tin can. Service at home is usually better as well because the one who cooks is aware of the tastes of the family members. Moreover, eating at home means saving money since buying food from the supermarket or fresh market is much cheaper (Schifferstein, 2017). The cost of products is much lower than the price of the finished dish. Homemade food prepared with love can be no worse in quality, and even much better than restaurant food. People, who want to maintain good health, normally eat at home.

Despite all the advantages of eating in, homemade food can also be unbalanced in terms of nutritional composition. If in the family the tradition of fat or excessively spicy meals was passed from generation to generation, such homemade dishes will be no less unhealthy than fast food. By the way, fat and sweet products contribute not only to quick weight gain but also to faster aging of the body (Schifferstein, 2017). Moreover, to prepare a dinner consisting of three dishes, a person will have to spend several hours in the kitchen. For some people, this is not a problem, but some are busy or do not like to cook, so restaurant food is a good alternative.

Cafes and restaurants help to eat more or less balanced food without much effort while saving time. As a rule, the families cook simple food at home, while in the restaurant, everyone can enjoy an exotic dish or an interesting combination of products. The opportunity to meet and chat with friends in a pleasant environment is also an advantage. Lunch or dinner in a cafe can become a real holiday, thanks to not only an interesting and tasty menu but also a beautiful interior and good music.

Eating out also has its drawbacks, the most important and obvious of which is the price of restaurant dishes, which will cost several times more than homemade food. The amount of food received will be smaller as well. Eating at a restaurant is more expensive, because of extra money for the service and taxes. Cheap or fast food restaurants normally serve less quality food. The likelihood of poisoning in the restaurant is small, but still, there is such a risk (Schifferstein, 2017). A person who eats out can never be sure about the cleanliness of the kitchen and the freshness of products. Besides, a person can feel some kind of pressure or encouragement to eat more. It is understandable that the more people eat, the more restaurants earn.

How does cooking in a restaurant differ from home cooking? As a rule, there is a higher content of fat and salt in the dishes. A study of the University of Illinois, in which about eighteen thousand people participated, showed that those who eat out consume 200 more calories per day in comparison with those who eat at home (Schifferstein, 2017). Besides, the percentage of salt and cholesterol is much higher in restaurant food. If a person regularly eats fast food, in most cases, it leads to obesity. As a rule, restaurant meals have a high-calorie content and a large number of harmful fats and carbohydrates. At the same time, a person will feel hungry again in a short time, because the consumed calories lack complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fats that supply the body with energy. There are very few proteins, and all the vitamins are burnt during frying, so there is nothing useful in such a meal.

On the one hand, tasty healthy food is cooked at home, but on the other hand, cooking is very time-consuming for modern busy people. Of course, every person should consider what and how to eat, and how much money to spend on food. Some people give preference only to food in a restaurant, while others, on the contrary, recognize only home-cooked dishes. Both eating in and eating out have several advantages and disadvantages; however, it seems that the most reasonable solution is to combine them wisely. Then, both restaurant food and homemade meal will bring equal pleasure.

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Schifferstein, H. N. (2017). Differentiating consumption contexts as a basis for diversity in food design education: Eating in or eating out?. International Journal of Food Design, 2(1), 83-101.

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