Here's the Scoop: June 4, 2008

Easy as PB&J
Somewhere along the line, I’ve pretty much become a “brown bagger.” I think that “somewhere” was when gas hit $3 per gallon. It’s not that I don’t enjoy buying my lunch — I do — but when necessities start costing way more than is reasonable, adjustments must be made. Therefore, my solution to the absurd cost of fuel is peanut butter!
I don’t eat peanut butter (and jelly) every day, but it’s become pretty common. Sure, I’ll occasionally pack some leftovers to take to the office, but I’ve found that PB&J is quick and easy. For the most part, it’s fairly tasty as well. Hint: I don’t recommend this combo on rye bread.
PB&J sandwiches are durable, too. If you put them in the fridge, that’s fine. If you forget about them and they sit in the hot car until noon, that’s OK, too. There might be a little mess to clean, but the sandwich will taste all right and there should be no health issues.

More is needed
Of course, man does not live by peanut butter alone. I usually like to fill my brown bag with a bunch of “extras” that will take my mind off the fact that I’m eating PB&J for the 128th day in a row. Carrots, bananas, corn chips and granola bars are among the “regulars” in my lunch bag.
The downside of having all these items close at hand is that most of them never survive until lunchtime. Some studies show that “snacking” between meals is actually a good way to curb one’s appetite. I have taken this concept to a new level — often eating my entire lunch way before noon. This tactic is good for fending off hunger pangs, but it leaves a big gap when lunch hour rolls around.
Mentally, I think I should be eating at this time. Physically, I’m wondering if I can somehow justify my nonstop snacking as a “late breakfast,” and can dig enough coins from under my floor mats to purchase a “real” lunch at a local eatery. If it’s lunchtime, I should be eating. The concept seems quite simple.
When you think about it, the idea of eating my lunch hours before I’m supposed to is probably some sort of psychological device used to justify a lunch purchase. And, it’s not like I never buy lunch anymore. You’d be surprised how often I “forget” my lunch and am forced to purchase food because “it’s cheaper than driving home to get my lunch.”
Which leads us back to the wonders of PB&J. If it sits on the counter all day, I can “try” to remember to bring it the following day. You can’t do that with tuna fish.
Along with its durability, PB&J is fast! I am often racing against the clock in the morning and making a PB&J sandwich is just a minor blip on my time clock. No pickles, no mayo, no nothing. Two ingredients and bread. Cutting optional, but preferred.
Is PB&J boring? Absolutely. Since I’m a big baseball fan, I prefer to think of eating PB&J as similar to teams winning by plugging in a bunch of “utilitarian” players instead of signing overpriced, over the hill superstars — the lunchtime equal of hot dogs. It’s not that I think of hot dogs as being a fancy food — unless they’re compared to PB&J. Hold the sauerkraut.