Long lunches no more

Long lunches no more

I was reading through an old Economist article, from one of the February 2010 issues (don’t ask me why) and came across the statistic that in 1975, French workers on average took 1 hour and 38 minutes for lunch. Today, it is more like half an hour. Now, I know that for many busy Americans, worktime lunch has long been reduced to a 20 minute sandwitch and/or salad – at best – while guzzling down a preferred mass manufactured drink. But could this quick eating be part of a larger problem of not taking the time needed for a midday break? Of adding to a general sense of stress? Of why we end up ‘snacking’ calorie-filled junk to compensate, adding new waistline over time?

When I first arrived in Paris back in 1992, I recall seeing so many French people sitting out having a lunch with wine during the week. A friend commented, ‘I hope that none of those people is a surgeon’ and then later asked the question. Apparently, surgeons are by law not allowed to drink alcohol during the working day…

Another related law is that parking meters in some French cities – in Strasbourg at least – were valid from 9 am to noon and from 2 pm to 7 pm. In other words, the meter maids did not have to bother checking the meters from noon to 2 pm, because they, too, were eating lunch…

Just a pseudo sociological thought for today :-). Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Leave a Reply