What would happen if the human population suddenly swapped their normal lunch habits for greener ones? That’s exactly what the organizers behind Earth Lunch Hour hope to find out.
The worldwide event begins tomorrow at 11:00 AM in Japan, and then follows global date lines eastward across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Central America, South America, North America and Oceania before wrapping up back in Japan at 11:00 AM the next day.
The word “lunch” (a shortened form of “luncheon”) is a modern sense of “mid-day repast” first used in 1829, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.
The word was originally taken from the more formal lunchentach, a term that the Oxford English Dictionary reports from 1580 that referred to the meal that was inserted between two more substantial meals. (The medieval German nuncheontach was a meal of draught ale and bread that helped to stave hunger during long hours of haying or harvesting.)
These days, the concept of lunch has fallen by the wayside amidst the working masses. As Michael Douglas’ greedy Wall Street character Gordon Gekko famously quipped, “Lunch is for wimps.”
What Gekko didn’t realize was that the brain works much better after carbohydrate intake: Carbs stimulate the release performance-enhancing insulin. Maybe he wouldn’t have been caught for securities fraud and insider trading if he possessed the clarity that a midday meal would have afforded him. (He would have been a horrible hayer or harvester.)
But Gekko is out of prison and back in the saddle for the sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Perhaps now he’ll pause for a “mid-day repast.” And if he chooses one that’s meat-free, with seasonal produce and minimal packaging, it’ll be a lunch that’s green — his favorite color.