Quick and Easy Lunches for Work
History of Lunchtime At Work
In the early 1920s, when Upton Sinclair wrote such descriptive works as , about the atrocities of the factory work place, many workers did not receive a lunch break at all. In modern fast food establishments, the same is sometimes true! The Jungle
Meanwhile, workers in parts of the old Soviet Union toiled 7 days a week without any days off or a single vacation, as reported by my native Russian teacher, my Ukrainian uncle-in-law, and USSR workforce journals of the 1980s. The Iron Curtain Era workers until the 1980s likely received no lunch breaks.
These workers were not required by law to have any rest breaks or food breaks at that time. Franz Kafka wrote The Metamorphosis novella around this time, describing the toll that Industrialized Society wrought on the family and the individual. In this story, a hectic worker turns into an insect to be squashed.
Work was everything. Some people died from working every day in such societies and were abandoned by society at large and even by their families. This custom is much like that of a few Indigenous cultures that have left the elderly and the widows standing under a tree to die, the rest of the community moving on to new places.
Proper nutrition is more of a focus in daily lives and in the workplace today.
Time For Lunch?
Generally, full-time employees usually receive a lunch break between 15 - 45 minutes long, and sometimes as much as 60 minutes. Some receive no break, but this is unhealthy.
For example, until formal complaints were filed, one agency in my county was requiring employees to work nine hours per day without any breaks or eating (45 hours per week, no breaks), with pay for only 40 hours. That company eventually went out of business, because workers became unproductive or ill and many employees quit.
In the middle of the 20th century, labor laws were enacted to protect and ensure that certain groups, such as women and teens, were guaranteed rest breaks and lunch breaks.
For example, in our Ohio state laws, a fast food worker under 18 years of age must receive a 30-minute break within a 5-hour work shift, or be clocked out for the day at 5.0 hours. Your own local state, and federal labor laws are available online for you to review.
Some employers give workers 30 minutes for lunch if there is an onsite cafeteria or vending machines available, and 45 minutes to an hour if they must leave the premises to find food.
Some employers do not allow employees to eat at their desks, while some government agencies allow employees to eat at their desks as well as to get paid for that time - overtime!
All this goes into the conclusion that lunch times differ in length around the country. If you have lunch time available, what are you going to eat?
An Easy Lunch - Vegetables And Cheese On Whole Grain Bread
An Easy Lunch for Work: Hummus Wrap Sandwiches
- 2 cups of Hummus, plain or flavored
- 6 ounces Spinach, washed, stems removed. Your favorite Lettuce, or Chinese Cabbage, can be substituted.
- 2 medium sized Tomatoes, sliced to 1/4-inch size
- 2 cups Shredded Carrots
- 4 ounces Fresh Mushrooms, sliced to 1/4-inch size
- 2 cups Alfalfa or Bean Sprouts, or similar
- 1 cup Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, or other Nuts
- 2 large Flour Tortillas (10-inch or larger)
- Place one Flour Tortilla on a clean bread board or cutting board.
- Spread 1 cup of the Hummus evenly onto the Tortilla, but leave ½ inch bare Tortilla around the half circle farthest away from you.
- Neatly place Spinach, Lettuce, or Chinese Cabbage across spread Hummus.
- Layer the other ingredients in the middle of the Tortilla. Do not overfill. You can always use an extra Tortilla.
- Roll the edge of the Tortilla that is closest to you slowly toward the other side.
- Cut the rolled Sandwich in half for two servings, or cut it to 1-inch slices and serve with mustard, low-fat dressings, or any condiment of your choice.
Enjoy half of a Wrap Sandwich and a cup of your favorite rice dish makes a filling meal for Lunch at Work.
Other vegetables may be substituted in this sandwich, and those who enjoy meat and cheeses may add or substitute those as well. These are delicious!
2 - 3 Wraps (4 - 6 servings or more)
Four Easy, Healthy Sandwich Wraps
New Sandwiches for Easy Lunches
Easy Lunch Sandwiches With Nori
Nori sandwiches are beginning to appear more frequently on the market, making a pleasant alternative to other kinds of sandwiches. They include a variety of traditional and modern ingredients and are quite good. You might learn to make these yourself, using vegetable ingredients or cooked meats.
An alternative to the nori sandwich is on in which you can pick up some well-made sushi at the local supermarket. If you have a refrigerator at work or a small lunch cooler that will keep the sushi chilled, then your lunch will be safe from much bacteria buildup.
Whole Foods markets especially carry a range of sushi from sustainable sources and other take-out foods for lunch and they have recycling bins for their costumers and the community for the lunch wrappings and general recyclables. The bins are near one of the entrance doors.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2008 Patty Inglish MS