I went to a popular food court for my lunch yesterday. The crowd was as big as usual although the prices of food had shot up.
I ordered a bowl of fish porridge and paid RM6 for it; that was considered relatively cheap compared to many other foods. For instance, the day before, I paid RM6.50 for a plate of plain rice, fried kangkong (river spinach), fried pineapple and fried pork and salted vegetables at another popular food court.
In the past, I would have paid RM5 for the same plate of food. That was before the prices of food increased because of the movement control order during the COVID-19 pandemic and rise in prices of inputs such as fertilisers, chemicals, land, labour and machinery.
There is nothing much ordinary people like me can do about the increased prices of food in the food courts or other eateries. All we can do is scout around for the cheapest place to eat and the cheapest food to eat. Instead of ordering two vegetables and one meat, I will try to order one vegetable and one meat dish at the fast food stall tomorrow and see how much the food will cost. If there is a big difference, I may opt for the one vegetable and one meat dish from then on.
Another alternative is, of course, to eat at home and cook whatever is in the fridge. Depending on a person’s taste, a homecooked meal is not necessarily cheaper than a meal at a fast food stall.
When I eat outside, I have learnt not to pick a big fried fish or choose Asam pedas fish or Assam fish curry.
A big fried fish or Assam pedas fish, a maritime Southeast Asian sour and spicy fish stew dish, and Assam fish curry can cost a bomb. I’ve discovered that the simplest way to increase my protein intake is to eat more chicken breast meat, egg whites, shrimps or dried fish.
Do you know that vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, corn, green peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts?
I salute those who bring homecooked food to work. Homecooked food is best because it’s from your hard work and love. Also, when you prepare your own meals, you have more control over the ingredients. You can reduce the oil and the salt. The meals are healthier and can help you to look and feel healthier. Homecooked food can also help you save money and become a better chef.
I read with interest on the Internet recently a old story about a wife who was ridiculed for packing her tradesman husband’s lunch before he went to work every morning.
She shared a photo of what she prepared which included sandwiches, an assortment of cheese, crackers and cabanossi sausage and three pieces of fruit, in an Australian budgeting group on Facebook with the caption: ‘The Tradie’s Lunch.’
The woman pointed out that what she packed was ‘cheaper, fresher and healthier’ than the takeaway fare typically available at construction sites and in the centre of cities where electricians, carpenters and plumbers most commonly worked.
The post initially received such a negative response that the group administrator had to remove comments slamming the woman for treating her husband like a child and waiting on him hand and foot.
The administrator told critics to mind their own business and respect how people chose to run their households.
‘Each to their own, nobody is forcing you to pack (this woman’s) husband’s lunch. Move on if you don’t agree with it,” she added.
In this world, there are many lucky men like this woman’s husband. Don’t believe me? Just go to the YouTube and you will see a Japanese wife happily prepare a week of bentos (a Japanese-style packed lunch, consisting of such items as rice, vegetables, and sashimi) for her husband to bring to work.
In Malaysia, a woman recently resorted to a new way of packing her husband’s homecooked food for work after he was allegedly made fun of by colleagues; she made it appear as if he had bought the food from stalls.
In my opinion, his colleagues should not make fun of him. Instead, they should envy him for having such a loving wife who cooks delicious and healthy food for him.
Personally, I usually have my lunch in a food court but bring my own homecooked food for dinner in the office.
There are many food courts in MetroCity where I work but I prefer to eat my homecooked food like fried rice with egg or fried beehoon (rice vermicelli). This is because I don’t have to rush around thinking about what I should eat and where to buy it. At the same time, I can save money and time.
I don’t care what people think about me as long as I am healthy, happy and not hungry.