Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Saturday, September 11, 2004  

Experience triumphs

Virginia Postrel writes in the NYT about the shift in American lives from getting "stuff" to buying experiences.

In 1959, consumers spent 25 percent of their income on food, compared with 14 percent in 2000. Today food spending looks much smaller if you exclude restaurant meals. Meals at home took 19 percent of income in 1959, compared with only 8 percent in 2000.

Another way to look at the same trend: In 2000, we spent 41 cents of each food dollar on restaurant meals, up from only 29 cents as recently as 1987.

It's a curious article about culture and evolving attitudes.

For my wife and myself, we tend not to buy stuff, preferring to keep an uncluttered life, but we do spend more on food and drink. I shop at a specialty market of fine foods and will spend $16/lb on filet mignon (occasionally) or prime rib. We usually have wine with our meals at $8-15 a bottle.

I am a gourmet cook and have learned that great meals begin with superior ingredients. A poor steak will not taste great no matter what you do to season or marinade it.

Anyway, that's our chief vice now -- food. It has often been noted that the last sin of people is food. Lust, envy, avarice, pride, and so forth are not real factors in our lives now, but gluttony in the form of deliciousness in food remains or increases with age.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:26 AM |