Image via me, unfortunately

Here is a scenario that you have probably found yourself in recently: It’s 7:00 p.m., you’re finally home from work after a long day of whatever it is that you do all day at work, and you’re out of food. You don’t want to walk to the grocery store (ugh!), chop up and heat the foodstuffs you’ve purchased (gross!!!), and clean up after yourself (never!!!!!). Also, that kebab shop/sushi spot/whatever is two whole blocks away and the sun is already down. Might as well press some buttons on that soothingly arranged app on your phone, wait 30-55 minutes and enjoy kebabs/sushi/whatever without ever having to leave the cocoon-like safety of your living unit or talk to anyone or compromise your comfort in any way at all. My friend: don’t do it.

Eating is one human function that’s still tricky to completely automate, since growing is slow and we need to eat constantly. Despite the best efforts of companies like Soylent and the mega-farm food industrial complex, you can’t just produce and teleport someone a fully made and delicious burger the way you can, say, give them access to every song ever produced, or give them access to hundreds of strangers’ cars for a ride across town. The timescale of food is still stubbornly natural.

I get the temptation to shrink the messy distance between acquiring a meal and eating it. Cooking demands time and energy that is not always easy to summon. I have succumbed to the temptation a few times while laid up with an injured knee or stuck in my apartment because nearby fires had turned the air into a noxious asthma-triggering soup from Hell. Aside from the vague techno-paranoia I harbor for delivery, there’s also an acceptance of warmed-over, mediocre food to deal with. The last time I ordered in, I was greeted with the horrible sight of a man handing me a pizza box vertically. Reader, what I ended up with is the monstrosity at the top of the page.

Once in a while, as a treat? Sure. You deserve it. But a casual, twice-a-week delivery habit can easily morph into a horrifying addiction, as you stop grocery stopping, start viewing walking to the store as a mountain to move, and turn your eating experience into just one more facet of your life that is now firmly in the domain of The Machines. Resist this. Eating doesn’t have to be a chore. Take the tiny amount of time it requires to unplug yourself from the delivery apparatus. Food makes you strong. Delivery makes you weak.

Also, that shit is expensive. Thank you. Goodbye.