Slow Down your Lunch!

My recent post ‘How long is your lunch break? In France it’s two hours….’ inspired quite a bit of comment. Many of you long for a longer lunch! Unsurprising, since many of us wolf down our food, or skip lunch altogether.

Why slow down your lunch? The advantages are obvious, including the fact that eating more slowly allows your body’s own ‘fullness’ (in technical jargon, ‘satiety’) signals to make the round trip from your stomach to your brain and back again. Simply put, people who eat more slowly will eat less, and feel more satisfied with what they eat, than people who wolf down their food.

Part of this has to do with where you eat. People in Europe are so attached to a ‘proper’ lunch that they simply will not eat standing up or on the run. You never see French people eating lunch on the street.

So how to slow down? Several people wrote back asking what they could do.

Here are a few ideas:

-don’t eat alone. Studies show that people who eat alone eat more, and more quickly (and enjoy it less) than people who eat together. As time-consuming as it might seem, seek people out for lunch. Start slow: why not just once a week for starters?

-join a Slow Food local chapter near you: in the US or in Canada.

-start a ‘Slow Lunch Day’ at your workplace (the equivalent of the Slow Food movement’s ‘Time for Lunch’ campaign)

-ask whether your child’s school would be willing to sign up for the Time for Lunch campaign (; or simply campaign for a minimum ‘time at the table’ at your kid’s own school!

-Create some personal rules: As a busy A-type personality, I found it hard to slow down at first. But now I do, every day. My personal rules: I sit at a table and eat off of a real plate (whenever possible, or at least I sit down), find someone to sit and eat with, and take at least 20 minutes from start to finish. OK, my food is sometimes reheated leftovers from last night’s dinner, but I still enjoy it that much more.

I’d love to hear your family’s ‘slow food’ stories!

One thought on “Slow Down your Lunch!

  1. There’s an app for the iPad that makes a “slow lunch” easy to find and enjoy. It’s called “The Italian Way” and it shows you were you can find slow food locations in your neighborhood or area (within the U.S.). It includes farmers markets, LOCAVORE Italian restaurants and cafes, plus community-oriented parks and “piazzas.”

    The Italian Way suggests Italian-style, slow food itineraries that you can share with friends or family, or with social connections on Facebook and Twitter. You can find more information here:


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