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					                                         Time to
                                                                       Prep time
     Food             Acquisition        Acquire         Preparation               Cost
                                                                       (minutes)
                                        (minutes)
Chicken and         Brought to me (by 0 minutes (no
Cheese               boyfriend) from effort made on        Minimal        0        $7.95
Quesadilla              Taco Mac         my part)
1.                  Brought to me (by 0 minutes (no
Cheeseburger         boyfriend) from effort made on        Minimal        0        $2.08
2. Small Fry           McDonald’s        my part)
1. Pasta
                                         90 minutes
Bolognese with
                                       (travel time to
White Truffle Oil     Cheesecake
                                          and from         Minimal        0        $21.90
                        Factory
                                      restaurant, wait
2. Original
                                            time)
Cheesecake
    1. Sour
    Patch Kids                           20 minutes
    (small $.99                        (travel time to
                         Kroger                            Unwrap         0        $9.43
    box)                                  and from,
    2. Fiji water                       inside store)
    (6 pack)
Cheese Pizza
                                          0 minutes
with Light             Domino’s                            Minimal        0        $12.52
                                         (delivered)
Sauce
Cheese Pizza
                                          0 minutes
with Light             Domino’s                            Minimal        0        $12.52
                                         (delivered)
Sauce
1. Turkey
Original
Sandwich                                10 minutes
                                      (driving time to
2. Sour Cream       Schlotzsky’s Deli    and from          Minimal        0        $6.73
and Onion                             restaurant, wait
Chips                                       time)

3. Sweet Tea
1. Turkey Tom

2. Jalapeño                               0 minutes
                     Jimmy John’s                          Minimal        0        $9.11
chips                                    (delivered)

3. Sweet Tea
 Time to earn    Total time    What was the meal and who           What was discussed or
cost (minutes)   (minutes)             did I eat with?          thought about during meal?
                              Lunch/Dinner with my boyfriend, Our snowman, how hot Taco
                               friend Joe, his girlfriend Anna    Mac wings are, how many
     82             20
                                    and roommate Alan            wings the boys can each eat
                                                                              apiece
                                 Lunch, alone (no one else     Ate while watching friends play
     22              5                     eating)                Wii, conversation centered
                                                                          around game
                                 Dinner with boyfriend, Joe,      The food, basic information
                                 Anna and her friend Sarah     about everyone meeting for the
     224            150
                                                               first time (Sarah, my boyfriend,
                                                                               and I)
                              Snack with boyfriend, Joe, Anna Ate while watching movie at
     97             30
                                                                       Joe’s, so no talking
                                      Dinner with sister       Ate while watching Friends, so
     128            20                                            minimal conversation about
                                                                  show and next day’s plans
                                      Dinner with sister       Ate while watching Entourage,
                                                                conversation centered around
     128            20
                                                                    lifestyle and personality
                                                                   similarities to characters
                                 Dinner, alone (no one else      Ate while watching boyfriend
     69             30                     eating)             play Xbox, talked about both of
                                                                             our days
                                      Dinner with sister       Ate while watching Entourage,
                                                                  minimal conversation about
     94             20
                                                                things we both plan on buying
                                                                 and our upcoming birthdays
     844            295
                                                                                                     Jamie Myers

                                                                                                        ANT 476

                                                                                                        1.28.2008

       In my observation of the past week’s eating habits, I have come to the foremost conclusion that my

diet is very typical of the average college student. However, unlike most college students, who occasionally

cook for themselves or budget their food, I have no cooking experience, with the majority of my pre -college

meals either purchased or prepared for me, and I pay little to no attention to the cost of what I consume. This

experiment was an epiphany of sorts for me, as for the first time, I actually calculated the sum of what I

consume on a daily basis. Though the variety of foods represented in my chart is fairly indicative of my diet

throughout the year, the total cost of the food amounts to much less than would my consumption during an

average week, as last week I slept through both breakfast and lunch on most days.

       My quest for food is generally stress and effort-free, as I spend no time shopping for or preparing what

I eat. The majority of my meals are eaten away from home, with the exception of the occasional breakfast

bar, takeout, or delivery. If I could hire a personal chef, I gladly would, as I have no desire to learn how to

cook – a sentiment that is far from the norm of most American women, who feel obligated to acquire the

skills of keeping house. Fortunately, my boyfriend loves to cook, so on the rare occasions that I do eat in, my

food is prepared for me.

       The luxury of dining out regularly, however, comes with a price. I generally consume far more

calories than is recommended, and I have gained an astonishing amount of weight over the past year as a

result of moving into an apartment with my sister, who is also culinarily incompetent. My former roommate,

who idolizes the stereotypical housewives of the 1950’s that cleaned house and cooked in pearls and heels,

regularly prepared our meals, which kept me in the American female ideal - size 2 jeans - when balanced

with a daily exercise regimen of running anywhere from 3 to 6 miles and basic weight training. After tearing

the cartilage in my left knee, however, I had to lay off the running, and have completely abandoned all forms

of exercise since. In this way, my lifestyle differs greatly from that of a !Kung or other modern hunter-

gatherers. Although I consume around the same number of calories, my output is next to nothing. The only
exercise I get on a regular basis comes from walking to classes in the Biology building from the Ten Hoor

parking deck. In the past, I feel that my lifestyle was much more similar to that of the !Kung, with an average

calorie intake and extensive intensive exercise daily, but currently, I feel I am much more typical of the more

than half of adult Americans who are overweight. In the past, due to the influence of numerous anthropology

classes, I have tried what I like to term the “hunter-gatherer diet,” but the abundance of processed foods

everywhere I go coupled with my general lack of willpower left that mode of eating doomed to fail.

        Although I often eat alone, as I tend to eat at different times than my closest friends, I never eat

completely alone, as I am usually with other people. Food is not so much a social thing for m e as it is for

other people I know, though, whose family traditions of elaborate holiday meals have instilled in them a love

for both food and dressing up for dinner. My family has always been more on the casual side for holidays,

with no dress requirement for dinners and no huge gatherings of people for special occasions. In this way, we

are somewhat atypical, and having been raised by a mother, who is a food chemist, and who eats purely out of

necessity, my thoughts of diet are slightly skewed. I can enjoy a nice meal at a large table, but I much prefer

my dinners with just a few friends, and if necessary, I don’t mind eating simpler foods completely alone,

though I rarely am able to.

        Overall last week, I spent a total of $81.15 on eight meals. If I were working a job that paid minimum

wage, or $5.85 per hour, it would have taken me 13.87 hours of work to pay for my food. Granted, I ate out

much more than the average person working at a minimum wage job, so I could have eaten the same amount

of food for much less, which would in turn have cost me less in terms of man hours of work to acquire. If

that were the case, I probably could have eaten every meal for under $5.85, which, comparatively, would

make my food much less “expensive” than the average hunter-gatherer meal, which takes more than a single

hour to acquire, whether hunted or gathered. The ease of food acquisition, also, would in turn result in a

lower output and less calories burned, so I would also be getting much more nutrition for my hour of work

spent acquiring the food, assuming the meal consumed was not fast food or another alternately unhealthy

meal.
       Completing this exercise has made me aware of many aspects of my diet that I fail to think about on a

daily basis. For one thing, my freedom to purchase whatever foods I please represents a luxury that I was not

previously aware of having. Realizing that I put out little effort to acquire my food and generally eat very

“rich” or fatty foods makes me want to rethink my lack of exercise. I am almost envious of modern hunter-

gatherers, as the structure of their daily life, their methods of acquiring food, and the foods that are available

for them to eat combine to form a routine that allows for little deviation and thus no possibility of be coming

overweight and suffering from resulting disease.

				
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