Good things take time. Healthful things take time. So there's a bit of cringe for instant food items, whether it's coffee, tea, rice, noodles, oats, soup or dip. Something tangible and intangible is lost after pulverizing and processing the dickens out of food. Even dietitians debate the health value of these foods.
So that poses a few questions. We're persistently looking to shave minutes and seconds off of everything we do but we should ask ourselves why. What do we do with the accumulated "saved" time? What do we sacrifice? Why is this very important part of our life—eating and nourishing the body—worth a shortcut?
Part of the joy of food comes from carefully picking ingredients for quality and rich flavors. The average coffee drinker can taste the difference across brews of various coffee beans and anyone who has take a bite of plain white rice expecting the beautiful and delicate aromas of jasmine rice can taste something is missing. There is pleasure in preparing foods the way you want for who you want. There is delight in conversation over a slow cup of drink or wholesome plate of food with someone you love. There is something to the growing slow food movement.
Is it a fair trade to accept lower nutritional value, diminished flavor and the chance of additives for the sake of time and convenience? Something greater than flavor is being lost when we choose instant foods.
(Image courtesy of Piotr Miazga)