Whether a restaurant is family style or fine dining, most offer some form of savory pie whole or by the slice. The fancy pie with high-end ingredients might be tasty without sauce or without cheese but that restaurant won’t drive it over. It won’t bring a hot and ready to eat pie to the door of a residence. And it won’t be of ample size to feed a family or party of four or more.
Throughout the decades of growing popularity of the savory pie, the number of specialty restaurants, frozen options and home bakers have grown and improved in flavor expectations catering. People don’t just want to devour their favorite finger food; they want it brought to their door in time for lunch or dinner, with minimal effort from him or her. The convenience of pizza delivery from a specialty restaurant still lives on. It makes a home dining experience a little bit easier and a little bit more special for those who tout this food as their favorite.
Pizza delivery has led to burger, pasta, and now all types of meals being brought to homes all around the country. Since inception, the experience of not having to cook combined with simply placing an order and paying upon arrival is still priceless. It was made a little easier a couple of decades ago when companies began recording general costumer ordering data. This information management technique was eventually used in conjunction with caller identification, which allowed pizza delivery restaurants to be able to pin point client’s addresses, billing information and interest. They were then able to better serve customer needs with speedy reordering and marketing coupon incentives.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” wrote the eminent Greek physician Hippocrates during the dawn of western medicine. We took his advice. Thousands of years later we use chicken soup to nourish our bodies, yet we question whether the right food choices can heal our mind. Some people are sure.
Inspired by personal experience, Amanda Geary founded the UK’s Food and Mood Project in 1998. “I started the Food and Mood Project following from my own experience of recovery from depression where I noticed that what I was eating was having an effect on my emotional and mental health,” says Geary. “In 1998 I won an award from Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, to start the Project and help others to explore the links between what we eat and how we feel.”
For many the knowledge of food and mood is restricted to word of mouth and stigma. Consider turkey’s apparent sleep inducing power. Many Thanksgiving dinners end with a nap or at the very least, droopy eyelids. Though the tryptophan in turkey seems to be the culprit, our sluggishness is really due to overeating. Though tryptophan does elevate the brain’s sleep-inducing serotonin, it does so in very small amounts. The true cause? An overflow of mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie and alcohol which shifts blood away from the brain and down to the digestive tract.
The connection between food and mood is not black and white. Some foods are both healing and stressful. Caffeine and chocolate provide initial exhilaration. Caffeine improves focus and stimulates motivation. Pleasant, until the crash that follows. Chocolate also gives us mixed results. It is laden with sugar and fat, yet full of cell protecting, disease killing antioxidants. These are called flavanols. Two studies published in the Lancet suggest that these flavanols decrease LDL cholesterol, the “bad” type of cholesterol responsible for clogging arteries. Pure cocoa has the highest levels of flavanols while milk chocolate has the lowest.
The chemical responsible for chocolate’s uplifting effect is called phenylethylamine (phenyl-ethyl-amine). This is an essential amino acid, which is a component of protein. So though phenylethylamine is scary to pronounce it’s nothing to be afraid of, especially for expectant mothers.
An April 2004 article in New Scientist reports that stressed mothers who ate chocolate regularly throughout their pregnancy had happier babies. Two groups of women were studied before and after delivery, one group ate chocolate and the other abstained. Six months after delivery both groups were asked to rate their infant’s behavior. The chocolate-crunching mothers reported having babies that smiled and laughed more. But before you stock up on Cadbury’s bars, remember that tomatoes and fruit have as much or more of this happy chemical, and are far healthier. The key to gobbling benefits and not havoc is moderation. Most experts recommend 3-4 servings a week, ideally as a substitute for your regular dessert.