Bring Your Lunch to Work

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 9.00.32 AMThere are few brown-baggers in the building in which I work. This is not because the food in the neighborhood is so great (it isn’t), or because the cafeteria is Google-like (it isn’t), but because many people are either “too busy” or too embarrassed to bring their lunch. Somehow one of our oldest and sanest traditions has become a laughingstock: it’s not hip to bring lunch.

Let’s try to fix that.

As a meal, lunch is undeniably tough; most people say that and I recognize it. But something good happens when you make the default a brown bag.

I am not talking literally about brown bags; you can bring your groovy REI lunchbox, or your authentic Mumbai tiffin carrier (actually, where I work the people who seem to bring their lunch most often are of South Asian origin) or — as I tend to do — your assortment of recycled takeout containers.

Read the rest of this article, here.

Posted in Recipes


  1. Rita said...

    I agree! I try to take food with me when I can. I am wheat free and it’s actually easier to eat food I have prepared. I know it will be good. I don’t always know if the food I want to purchase is wheat free.
    I’ve read a couple of your books – very useful, I refer to them often.

  2. Ann Allen-Ryan said...

    Although I no longer go to work, this column resonates mightily with me. I am responsible for producing a daily lunch for my husband and me (in addition to breakfast and dinner). It is very tempting to run out a buy a sandwich or something similar in the neighborhood. This column inspires me to take advantage of “Bittman Brown Bagging” at home. Thank you!

  3. Susan Manca said...

    “Thinking Inside the Bag” put me in mind of a Russell Baker NYTimes commentary of many years ago called something like “Murder Most Foul” about a man who shot his desk for demanding more and better lunches.This man started off with simple (tuna?) sandwiches but the desk became greedy and fussy over time and the man went berserk and shot it.
    This was a time when eating at the desk –and not taking a walk at midday–was considered undesirable and unhealthful. It also signaled that you were overworked, inefficient or unable to afford a restaurant lunch . Many offices did not (and perhaps still do not) permit even a cup of coffee to be taken at the desk, though probably not The NYTimes .

  4. awesome ideas. a brown bag lunch does not have to be boring thats for sure.

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