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We British seem to have something of an obsession with food. Our supermarkets are constantly competing to have the most ethical and tasty produce, and over recent years farmers markets have been popping up all over the country. Even television, once mainly associated with food through the TV dinner, has more than got in on the act. Cooking shows such as Come Dine With Me, Ready Steady Cook and Masterchef mean the reheated chilli you eat in front of them never seems to measure up.
But do these programmes actually inspire the public to cook? The rise of convenience food lines in supermarkets has also risen sharply in the past few years, and now ‘Finest’, ‘Taste the Difference’ and lets not forget, not just food but ‘Marks and Spencers food’ have taken the hard work out of cooking. Students are not known for their abundance of money, however, and most of these options tend to be on the expensive side. So what do we do? Where do we go to get quick, tasty food that is (depending on your cooking ability) better than that which we could have made at home?
I’m talking about takeaways. Unhealthy perhaps, but nevertheless often a big part of student life. After all, who hasn’t stopped for a quick kebab after a night out? It is possible that we are eating too much however. Lancaster town centre alone somehow manages to support over twenty takeaways, without even including sandwich shops or the overabundance of Greggs. This is a trend repeated throughout the country, and despite government legislation, obesity levels are on the rise. Coincidence? It is possible, but unlikely.
Perhaps if it was more difficult to get hold of takeaway food, we would be a healthier nation. After all, if it takes an hour to make and deliver a pizza, it would be much quicker to boil some pasta and throw a sauce over it. Students are often right in the middle of the action, however, and this means being close to takeaways. No matter where you live on campus, you cannot be more than a ten minute walk from some sort of food outlet. Personally, in town, I live within about thirty metres of five different takeaways, which (while I like the convenience, of course) I admit is rather excessive. On particularly lazy days I have even considered some sort of pulley system from my window to Mognies. If it wasn’t for the double-decker buses using the road, I think it would work. This proximity does mean that my intake of junk food has increased, however, especially with the slightly reduced willpower I have after a night out.
It could be worse, however. We have all heard the stories about people who live on nothing but takeaway, and we can be glad (and smug!) that we are not them. Now, I have a date with the sofa and a frozen pizza.