To Your Health: Why you should be bringing your lunch from home

leftover featureChances are, if you’re like most busy workers, you eat lunch at your desk.

If you’re lucky, you have enough time to run out for something to eat that’s fast, convenient and to-go. If you’re not so lucky, you take an excursion to the office vending machine for a bag of chips, a diet soda and an egg salad sandwich with a suspect sell-by date.

You know neither of these scenarios is ideal, but there’s not much you can do about it when you’re facing deadlines for multiple projects.

We sympathize. And we’d like to suggest a third option: Bring your lunch from home.

Here’s why you should be packing your lunch:

• For your health: Packing a lunch from home will help you avoid all the fats and sugars hidden in to-go foods. You can also control portions (no super-sized) and choose nutritious ingredients.

• For your wallet: Buying lunch out can be expensive – and it adds up. An average lunch out can set you back about $10. Bringing lunch from home, meanwhile, will probably cost you $2 to $4, since most of the items are bought in larger quantities. If you save $6 a day, five days a week, that’s $120 a month and $1,500 a year.

• For the planet: Did you know that up to 40% of food in America is wasted? We throw away a lot: Last night’s leftovers, vegetables and fruits that go bad in the fridge, packaged foods that go stale in the pantry. Reduce your food waste by bringing food from home. You’ll also cut down on all the waste you get when you eat out: To-go containers, bags, paper napkins, plastic utensils.

• For your schedule: Packing your lunch will save you time. Do it the night before and don’t forget to grab it as you run out the door. During your lunch hour, you won’t have to lose precious time thinking about where to eat and then getting there. You’ll have your lunch handy, and you’ll be able to sit down to eat. Maybe you’ll even have enough time to take a walk after you enjoy your meal.

• For your inner foodie: Are you a picky eater? Then home lunches are for you. Turn your nose at that run-of-the-mill, takeout lunch, made with lots of ingredients you probably can’t pronounce. Instead, create a lunch that you can be proud of.

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