22 Mar supply and demand in hospitality
Allan de Botton wrote a very interesting article recently in the Philosopher’s Mail entitled: Culprit found in McDonalds outrage: YOU. He makes the point that we can complain as much as we like about the McDonalds of the world and how unhealthy and unethical these foods are, but at the end of the day, they survive, nay, thrive because there is demand for this kind of food. “The problem isn’t what these businesses are offering, since an offer can always be politely declined; it’s what we are choosing.”
Upstream and downstream nutrition promotion
It is an interesting point, I think, but I do think there is some give and take in this matter, and an issue of upstream and downstream nutrition promotion, and a whole heap of psychology besides. The restaurateurs provide the choices, and we choose from what they are offering. It can be a little bit cyclical!
When I returned from Sydney, I felt so heavy and filled with bread and meat products. At the time, I wondered ‘where is all the green stuff?’. Food in Sydney is pretty cheap, but it seems to ALL revolve around meat and bread.
Please, may I have a salad?
I get the same experience with the cafe next to my work. They have one salad on their menu, and it is doused in olive oil. The rest of the menu is basically various forms of burgers. I feel guilty if I don’t eat there, because as I have noted many times in my travels through this world, our system of commerce, does set up a really rather superficial social system too. Generally, business owners will be friendly and smile if you partake of their business, and the second that you go somewhere else, or politely decline anything at all, you are no longer worth their friendliness. It is pretty depressing in my estimation.
I did think after visiting Sydney and many times at work, when I am craving the most incredible salad, that it would be so fun to somehow encourage cafes to offer more variety of salad based food.
What would you prefer?
Or a whole heap of meat, bread and sauce?
Consumer choices creates demand
The other day I couldn’t stand it anymore and defaulted to the cafe in our town that is vegetarian and salad based. You always feel so AMAZING after consuming their food. It is so light and fresh and balanced, and DELICIOUS.
I just wish you could walk into any cafe here or in any of the big cities and order something like that! I would take my Asian chicken noodle salad any day over a meat filled burger or sandwich, and I am wondering how that could be encouraged, both upstream and downstream, so that you didn’t feel so heavy and bloated after visiting a city, and you felt nourished and vital after eating in a cafe.
What I want to see are thoughtfully crafted salads as options, there is so much scope for creativity! It is lush! I guess it is similar to the argument that you should buy organic whenever you can, because that stimulates demand for organic produce, and more farmers and producers will supply it!