What is our greatest challenge every day? Is it beating the traffic to work? Perhaps making ends meet? Or just remembering to remember everything? For most of us it's these things and one more—one very big one more. Eating. Putting fuel in your body so you can do all those other things that are part of being alive.
In this era when more families are sporting dual-incomes, and the average workday is longer than ever before, and commuting to the jobsite takes more minutes than the company lunch hour, the single most valuable commodity is Time. Think about the number of industries that would not exist if we all had plenty of time. Bye-bye, McDonald's... so long Fedex... farewell fax machine...ah, life would be so grand!
Dream on! Unless you're willing to chuck it all, shave your head and live the ascetic life of a cloistered monk high in the Himalayas, where the biggest social event is a meditation party, you're gonna be faced the rest of your life with the relentless need for more time. Food companies and restaurants have realized this need, and they're creating fast foods with a new twist.
Known in the trade as HMR's, Home Meal Replacements range from Stouffer's frozen dinners to KFC to gourmet take-out. What's going on here? Well, some surveys say less than 25% of the meals people eat these days are home-cooked—HMR's are becoming the foods of the future!
But have we given up the kitchen and fine dining altogether? From fast-food to home entertaining, here's a look at ways our busy lives dictate how we feed ourselves now and in the future.
This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.
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This page modified February 2007
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