This leads me to my other inspiration for this post, Wal-Mart. I know you've heard me talk about it before and maybe you think that I've killed that topic; however, it needs to be brought up again. It seems like the big issue mentioned above is money and time. In the current climate, most are short on money and everyone wants more time. The important thing to note is that both can be managed, and although you can increase the amount of money you have, time is finite.
I know I've made my case quite clear on how I think one shouldn't skimp on food, and I still strongly support my stance. Perhaps if I illustrate it in a different way, one might better understand my view. Let's examine what I'll call the Quality/Cost Analysis. Think of your basic X/Y Axis. On the X axis, you have quality, on the y axis, cost. Let's assume that as cost increases, quality also increases and vice versa. America is comfortable sitting at the corner of cost and quality. We're more than willing to sacrifice quality for a cheaper price. Guess what? This is where Wal-Mart comes in (note: I am not attacking Wal-Mart, but they are easiest to use in this illustration). Has Wal-Mart programmed us to look for the best deal regardless of the quality of the product? I know many people who will stop by Wal-Mart for a couple of things but refuse to step foot in their produce section. Why? Because Wal-Mart doesn't work as hard as other grocers in ensuring the quality of their product. On the way to providing you the cheapest price, something has to be sacrificed. Think about this the next time you choose a restaurant for your birthday or some other special occasion. Save some money and go somewhere where quality is valued.
My other target is McDonald's, fast food's founding father. In McDonald's, a culture of "not enough time" has been created. Feel free to stop by for a meal that will be ready in seconds. We can look to the Quality/Cost Analysis for a similar graph of Time/Cost Analysis. As time to prepare your food increases, so should quality. If you spend more time dedicated to something, you should produce a better product (in theory). Why don't we have enough time? Where is it we have to be? What keeps us from getting out of our cars to order food? These are valuable questions to ask. What's wrong with spending 3 hours at a restaurant with enjoyable company? Isn't this why the DVR was invented? You don't have to get back home to watch your "show."
In summary, I'm not telling you to stop shopping at Wal-Mart or to avoid the drive-thru line at McDonald's, but think about it the next time you find yourself at either place or somewhere like it. Ask yourself this, what am I sacrificing here and what am I missing elsewhere? Food may be nothing more than fuel, but humans are high-performing machines and deserve the highest quality of fuel we can find.