Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame

and i can tell you my love for you will still be strong after the boys of summer have gone - Don Henley, "Boys of Summer"

Let's talk about how we interact with food, shall we? I'm really just going to be covering one portion of that subject tonight, but I feel like it's an important aspect (and one that I'll go over in a more specific way in June).

There are lots of places that exist solely to sell you food, and many more that have the option of selling you food. This Saturday I was fortunate enough to attend a Tampa Bay Rays game, my first professional baseball game in around fifteen years. While the Rays didn't return me the favor by winning (or indeed, scoring), I was a little interested in seeing the food offered. You see, certain stadiums have a reputation for being particularly good gastronomically, others have a reputation for sucking. Tropicana Field is known for featuring some authentic Cuban food (by way of being located in Tampa Bay, which is a hotbed for that sort of thing).


On my way to my seat, which was excellent, I was assaulted by the choices offered. Along the first base side I was offered barbecue, pizza, burgers, and Cuban sandwiches (made, inexplicably, in the Miami style) before even getting to my seat. And once I got to my seat? The chorus really never stopped, even during at-bats. "Peanuts, getcha peanuts here!" "Carvel ice cream!" "Beer here! Ice cold beer here!" The only item genuinely tempting was the beer, and since it was what Greg of Stone Brewery would call "fizzy yellow beer" (Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Light - so, four american pale lagers? What diversity!), I never even reached for my wallet. But time and again I watched people buy food when I'd just seen them eating, food I was certain they weren't genuinely HUNGRY for. They were eating because it was something to do during the game, they were eating because it was socially acceptable to eat.

That's the heart of the matter for a lot of us: we eat because we can, because we want to, not because we need to. I know I'm guilty of it, I suspect we all are. It's an attitude I'll have to change if I hope to successfully get through June.

9 comments:

Alaina said...

One of the things that astonished me about the eating and drinking happening at that game was the pricing of the items. As I recall the ice cream, which tempted me, was $5.50 for a container. The fancier beers were $10. So these people who were eating idly were probably easily spending anywhere from $20-$40 on snacking. Combine that with the ticket prices and you end up with a very expensive night out. I always thought of baseball games as a cheap, fun way to spend a summer night but it's definitely not something accessible to everyone.

VenomForMasses said...

lol, the game is so full of excitement, how do you get the time to munch on hotdogs and what not :P

bruno said...

Not something accessible for people eating with only 3 dollars a day...

randomer said...

What's worse is some fields don't even let you bring your own food in, so if you end up hungry mid way through a game you're stuck paying $3 for a bottle of water.

Al3xaG said...

Funny how true that is, fighting the temptation!

ryelz_1 said...

Choosing not to eat something just because its there, not because your hungry is the challenge

Turtleftw said...

I agree with Alaina, I like going to ball games, but I mean just the staggering amount of money it costs, especially in the current economy...really just makes me want to sit at home.

3ggplant said...

"We eat because we can, because we want to, not because we need to". This holds so much truth. I am guilty of this occasionally. But really who can resist a hot dog?

miscellaneousmusicalmistakes said...

I appreciated the last sentence