Sunday, December 5, 2010

the template

so i've written about economic development templates previously.

the idea is that as we are exporting jobs overseas at a rapid pace, it is necessary to develop systems of economic self-sufficiency to protect jobs and bring household expenditure costs in line with incomes. to create self-sufficiency at a community level demands a new business template, one different from the typical free market capitalist model that has filled our landscape with big box stores and malls. the template is bigger than just food, but i'll share my thoughts on what it might look like for food.

the general food landscape right now looks like this: shitty fast food.

on the other end of the spectrum, we have a food revolution going on, but it's less than 2% of all food purchases: i.e. whole foods, fresh, local, organic, artisan blah blah, seasonal, etc. and all that stuff is wonderful, but it doesn't feed a lot of people, it's generally more expensive than fast food, and it doesn't employ many folks.

so the template has to roll out something as simple as fast food, that doesn't cost much, that can be replicated across the country, and that has ingredients and taste that we can stand behind.

my idea: take the trader joe's revolution and make fast-food joints out of it. make it affordable. switch up the menus frequently to avoid boredom. improve the taste. use good ingredients. simplify the cooking process so employees don't need to know sophisticated cooking techniques.

on the subject of simple cooking techniques, i was in biscuitville the other day, where you find low-wage workers mixing, kneading, and cutting biscuits, one of the toughest things to master in the kitchen. it goes to show you that with a proper recipe and training, regular workers with no previous experience can learn what are otherwise difficult tasks for the home cook.

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