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Food for Thinkers: A Lunch Manifesto Food for Thinkers: A Lunch Manifesto

Food for Thinkers: A Lunch Manifesto

by Nicola Twilley
January 21, 2011


The architects Yen Ha and Michi Yanagashita have been chronicling what they eat for lunch, as well as a 4:00 p.m. sweet treat, every single work day for the past three years. As they proudly note, "that's almost 2,000 posts, over 330 different lunch spots, and more than 2 dozen different food ethnicities eagerly consumed."

Their blog, Lunch Studio, is a daily dose of deliciousness, as well as a solid guide to the dining options of Lower Manhattan. But, as Ha and Yanagashita argue in their Food for Thinkers Lunch Manifesto, taking the time to eat and remember lunch every day also serves a larger purpose: After all, "in a work day that is filled with routine, taking a break for lunch might provide the only moment of creative divergence" or even pleasure. Leaving the office to sample local flavor, they contend, frees your mind, provides inspiration, and is "the mark of a responsible citizen."

At the end of it all, we're actually not writing about food or even critiquing it, we're sharing the virtues of the mindfulness of eating, the enjoyment of food. There is a much larger picture to this as well. Being conscientious about food leads to a more informed, curious, and hungry consumer. Options increase along with a growing awareness of food politics. Where does what we eat come from, who is it prepared by, why is it made this way and what effect does our consumption have on the environment—these are all questions that may result from finding an interest in and caring about the food we consume.

In an era when lunch, at least for most of us with office jobs, means forking food into our mouths in front of a glowing screen, Ha and Yanagashita's manifesto is a compelling call to action. Step away from the computer and enjoy your lunch—it means more than you think!

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