Stats may show otherwise, but the COOLS team knows the truth

Knock knock, who’s there? TIME magazine trying to ruin the simple life pleasure of eating alone, apparently. A study cited in the article “Why Eating Alone Might Be Bad for You?” says that eating alone can increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes, particularly for men.

According to this study, men eating alone have a “45% increased risk of being obese and a 64% increased risk of having metabolic syndrome.” However, women are in luck — at least a little bit. The study said that women who ate alone twice a day or more were only 29% more likely to have metabolic syndrome than men. Now, first off, let’s define eating alone. I mean, sure, if eating alone twice a day involves an ice cream or Seamless binge, maybe that’s not great (or is it?). But if eating alone means enjoying a leisurely meal by yourself as you people-watch at a café, then this study can back the f*ck off.

Let’s forget the numbers and go straight for the meat of the matter. Do you view eating alone as a beautiful act of meditative solitude? Or do you view it as a dynamically self-conscious chance to notice each bit of food that falls from your mouth in view of other diners? We’ve crowd-sourced the COOLS office, and the results were surprisingly emotional. (Special shout-out to Karen, our digital marketing manager, for making me feel like ~something~ was in my eye as my desk.)

Karen, Digital Marketing Manager:

Do you like to eat alone? “Life in NYC drove me crazy to the point where I felt like I had to get away from the city – so I applied last minute to Paris. I wanted to live life spontaneously and to love food again without all the stupid things I learned in NYC such as being ‘low carb’ or ‘low fat’ or things like a paleo or keto diet. Parisians eat full fat, WHOLE MILK, and cook with butter and eat SO MUCH BREAD! How amazing is that? Everything that most New Yorkers avoid like the plague. Long story short, I went to Paris for myself, alone, stopped worrying about what others think of me, did whatever I wanted to do, ate whatever I wanted to eat, took myself on solo dining dates at restaurants, and just enjoyed my own company.

Paris is the perfect place to love yourself; all of the bistros and cafes and restaurants almost cater to solo-diners with chairs facing outwards. Nobody ever cared when someone was eating alone, and those eating alone never cared about anything else. They just enjoyed their surroundings and their own company. And I realized that my fears and insecurities about myself around other people and being unable to eat alone meant that I was in desperate need of myself.”

Favorite NYC place to dine solo: “I love to eat alone at Japanese restaurants because the service there is always so friendly, and I never get the feeling of being rushed. I like to go to ISE (at Astor Place), Sobaya (Little Tokyo), and any Ootoya in the city. I also love to go to Café Gitane (on Mott) because, well, it’s French as hell.”

Heartleigh, Managing Editor:

Do you like to eat alone? “I do like eating alone. It’s quiet and I get to savor my food and people-watch, which are two of my favorite things in life.”

Favorite NYC place to dine solo: “Dean & Deluca Soho because they actually make a mean cheeseburger, and you can sit in the front window in the winter and look outside. Bakeri in Williamsburg. Their tables are so small that it’s actually crowded for more than one person, so it feels super cozy.”

Olivier, CEO:

Do you like to eat alone? “Hmmm, no.”

Favorite NYC place to dine solo: “I eat alone in places that serve fast…like Butcher’s Daughter.”

Lindsey, Staff Writer:

Do you like to eat alone? “I don’t mind it, [but] don’t prefer it because I feel like eating is best done with friends, and laughter is almost better nourishment than a Sweetgreen salad. Eating alone feels like an obligation, like, oh fuck, I’m hungry, go eat versus eating with friends is like, oh yay, friends, food, fun.”

Favorite NYC place to dine solo: “I would say my porch. Napkins, shoyu and other Asian condiments on deck at all times.” (Ed. note: Hell yes.)

Marie-Laure, Head of Merchandising:

Do you like to eat alone? “I like eating alone sometimes, depends on what mood I’m in. Sometimes I feel ashamed just to be eating there by myself, and feel more comfortable if I’m doing something else at the same time: book, computer, phone. Sometimes, I feel super comfortable, I’m thinking YOLO, enjoy the moment, enjoy every single bite, and do not do anything else but eat and enjoy your meal. I heard conscious eating is good for your health, as you are more likely to feel full and not having to order more food or snack later. So that’s also a good incentive to enjoy the moment.”

Favorite NYC place to dine solo: “My local café: Stonefruit in Bedstuy (for the avocado smash), Freehold in South Williamsburg, Buvette in West Village (love seating at the bar), Haven’s Kitchen in Chelsea, Have & Meyer (great Italian food, farm to table).”

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