Restaurant Wars and Birth Wars

Imagine the year is 2035.  People rarely cook at home anymore for a few different reasons.  They have gotten too busy and because of subsidies from the food industry eating at a restaurant is less expensive.  They actually pay more out of pocket to eat at home.  Many people look back and remember, “People actually prepared meals AT HOME!  It is amazing that they were willing to go through all that time and energy and that so many survived.” 


There are of course a few “natural” people who still eat at home.  There is a renewed interest in examining this practice, when a celebrity makes a movie called the Buisness of Eating Out, examining the risks of doing so and reminding parents about the option of eating at home. 


The ACRE (American College of Restaurants and Eateries), feels threatened by this resurgence in home cooking.  So they play the bad-parent card to try to scare moms.    

“A woman, who chooses to cook at home, puts herself and her child’s health and life at unnecessary risk.   Choosing to cook at home… is to place the process of cooking over the goal of having a healthy family.”  

 Some people may nod their head and say, “That makes sense.  They are TRAINED to prepare food.  They have to follow certain safety guidelines to keep everything sanitary and safe.” 


But many will recognize the truth.  There are risks to preparing food and eating both at home and at restaurants.  Restaurants want you to believe it is safer to eat there, or they would lose business.  But many different studies have proven that it is no safer to eat in restaurants than at home.  In fact restaurants are more likely the primary source and the greatest risk of food borne illness! 

The chances of these things happening in a busy restaurant is much greater than at your home. At home, you or the person doing the cooking is most likely preparing only one meal at a time and it is served immediately after it is ready. Preparation and processing at a restaurant are very different. (Food Poisoning Prevention

ACRE disputes those studies because they are not “randomized, controlled studies”.  The challenge is you can not have randomized controlled studies, because who would be willing to participate? 

You HAVE to eat at home.

You HAVE to eat out.  

It is too personal of a decision.  In every other modern county they agree that good quality observational studies are the best way to determine the safety of where to eat.  They find that it is just as safe if not safer to eat at home.  But ACRE doesn’t want to lose control.  Even though it is a small number of people who are interested in eating at home, they are scared. 


Today as we read this account of Home Cooking versus Restaurant it seems so far fetched.  It is absurd and it seems apparent that ACRE is overstepping their bounds.  When it comes down to it, families should look at the research and know that eating is a personal decision and they are smart enough to make the decision that is best for THEM!  They won’t let a group whose job is to protect the restaurants use fear to dictate their choice.  For some families eating out is best and for some eating at home is.  That is fine.  That is the beauty of America.  Freedom of choice!


Well today in America there is a Birth War going on.   ACOG and other groups are trying to make homebirth illegal.  A mom I know, shared this quote by her husband with me.  It is what inspired this post.  


How can they tell us that a natural physical process is illegal to do at home? 

That’d be like the restaurant industry getting a law passed that it was illegal to cook at home.”

 Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

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23 Comments on “Restaurant Wars and Birth Wars

  1. Doesn’t sound all that far fetched to me. But then where I live *Houston TX* is the city where people eat out more than any place in America…and also vies for the *fattest* city award every year. Big surprise.

    LOVED the spoof…unfortunately, I fear that by 2035 it may not be a spoof anymore!

    Hopefully this causes someone to think twice about their judgmentalism surrounding birth options.

  2. Pingback: Brilliant — Restaurant Wars! | ElementalMom

  3. Great response! It makes it sound even more absurd when you put it like this.

  4. That was a wonderful analogy. I’m going to post a trackback to this on my site! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. Sadly, this doesn’t sound far-fetched at all.

    Thanks for this entry….I really enjoyed it!

  6. Oh my! Thank you so much for posting the link to this in my comments. It is PERFECT. Seriously, did you write this? You say it was a mom you know? Whoever came up with this is a freaking genius. I’m off to link to you. Love it.


    I wrote the entry, but the mom I know shared the quote.
    “How can they tell us that a natural physical process is illegal to do at home?

    That’d be like the restaurant industry getting a law passed that it was illegal to cook at home.”

    Her husband was actually the one that came up with the quote!

  7. As someone who cooks as an art and a love, I think that this makes quite a compelling case AGAINST homebirth. So strong, in fact, that I am reconsidering my position. Think about this: if no one cooks at home, then it is highly unlikely that people would have reasonably equipped kitchens (refrigeration, stoves) or know the safe cooking skills. As a cook, I would be horrified if people undertook to cook at home under these circumstances and would, indeed, consider the parents reckless and negligent. And this scenario is not farfetched, btw. During the Industrial Revolution, most middle or lower class people did not have kitchens and ate in pubs or assembled their meals from various specialists precisely because it was cheaper and safer. This analogy hit home for me, and my faith in homebirth has been shaken dramatically.


    Hmmm, except you don’t need any special tools to give birth. And by hiring a midwife she IS trained and will bring any tools that you might need in an emergency.

    Obviously if you were to cook at home in the above scenario, you would need some supplies and would purchase them in order to do so. But I think of when we go camping, we cook very easily with very little tools. A cooler with ice to keep things fresh and a camp stove, 1 pot and 1 pan.

    But again, really all you need to birth is a pregant mom. She has all the needed parts!


    Another thought, it would be like I wanted to cook at home, so I found someone who cooks as an art and a love. I ask you to come and help me cook at home!

    That is exactly what a midwife is. Someone who helps others birth as an art and love. They are specially trained, have the proper tools, etc. Moms ask them to come and help them birth at home!

  8. The difference is that some people are gifted and knowledgeable cooks, some can learn with enough time and effort, but all female human bodies (pretty much) are capable of giving birth and mothers and babies for the most part can do this without specific training, particularly if mother has herself witnessed natural birth and breastfeeding. And as enjoybirth said, hiring a midwife can fill in any of the blanks.

  9. I really loved this. Of course, as some previous commenters have pointed out, it’s not a perfect analogy. But it is a good one and really gets you thinking.

    To take the analogy a little further, at least restaurants are moving toward having nutrition information available for all foods and some cities have instituted public “report cards” so everyone can see how restaurants scored on safety and cleanliness tests. And ALL restaurants tell you the menu of options. If hospitals had the same kind of transparency, consumers could at least choose the one that offers the kind of care they want with a reasonable expectation of safety.

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  11. This analogy would also apply well to homeschool vs. public/private school. Or any other arena that the government thinks they know best for ME and MY family. Gag.

  12. Pingback: Why does everything have to be a War? « Enjoy Birth Blog

  13. Sounds an awful lot like the existing battle for raw milk.

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