I've been eating out a lot recently due to my commute and other factors, and it occurred to me one evening that in some ways, eating out can be more green than cooking at home. Now, I'm not talking about going to McDonald's and getting something highly packaged and of dubious taste and nutritional value. I'm talking about eating at a neighborhood restaurant, where you aren't driving much, if at all, to get to it, and where you are served on china, not in a styrofoam box.
The logic behind my thinking is this: the restaurants are buying foodstuffs with much less packaging than in the grocery stores, their equipment is being to feed many, many people, increasing the efficiency of the fossil fuels used to cook it (I am assuming, although I could be wrong, that the cost/use per meal of gas/electric in a restaurant is lower than in a home kitchen). Mostly I am thinking in terms of packaging and distribution - instead of everyone driving to the store to buy food in little packages (many of which are not easily recyclable), then driving home, instead people walking to the corner pub and eating a sandwich (accompanied by a pint, of course!), may be more ecologically sound. Or maybe I had one too many Grey Goose sours when I thought of this. Am I just trying to justify my growing habit of joining my DH's co-workers for a drink and dinner at the local bar & grill? I'm sure I'm forgetting something - what are your thoughts on this subject?