What is “prepared food”?

Since June 1, the start of my 60-day dine-in challenge, I’ve been eating food prepared by me and my friends and not eating food prepared by restaurant chefs.  But I’ve been thinking:  Food created by a friend and food created by a professional chef—what is the difference?

Through my eat-in experiment, I’m trying to see what happens when I have more control over the food that I put in my body.  I’m also trying to build enthusiasm for eating homemade food and creating community around cooking and eating together.  So maybe it’s all about balance (as in life?)—between controlling what I’m eating and sharing food with friends.

When I eat food prepared by a friend, I believe what I’m eating was made with conscious loving thoughts.  That is not my assumption about restaurant food.  I’m a bit cynical about chefs because I think they believe they have one opportunity—your first bite—to endear you to what they’ve created.  If that’s the goal, then they must add as much flavor as possible, adding more sugar, salt, and fat than I want to eat.  I don’t mind those ingredients, I just want to know about them; restaurants don’t include all of a dish’s ingredients on the menu, so we don’t really know what we’re eating.  Of course, friends could also be using more sugar, salt, and fat than I want to eat, but I assume they are doing it because they are following a recipe or are adding seasonings based on what tastes good to them, not because they are pursuing me as a return customer.  But maybe my assumptions aren’t valid?

I’m quite happy that my enthusiasm for cooking has not waned … but we’ve eaten almost all of the leftovers that were stacked up in the fridge, so tomorrow I’ve got to roll up my sleeves and make something from scratch!  😉

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