Over 80 percent of North Americans regularly eat in the car, yet neither mobility literature nor expanding discussions of food cultures focus on the practice. Two studies shed light on eating in the car. First, North American’s distinct, dynamic, and embedded mobile food infrastructure is outlined via discussion of noteworthy innovations - from the 19th century dining car to the 21st century drive thru - that food entrepreneurs constructed to facilitate eating on the go. Second, four exploratory focus groups investigate the meanings and practices drivers associate with eating in the car. Together findings suggest that eating in the car is compromised by the demands of accelerating modernity. Framing eating in the car as simply another facet of an obesity crisis, as culinary preference, or personal choice and responsibility limits full understanding of the cultural anxieties, environmental and health risks surrounding this widespread food practice.
Allon, G., A. Federgruen, and M. Pierson (2011) ‘How Much Is a Reduction of Your Customers’ Wait Worth? An Empirical Study of the Fast-Food Drive-Thru Industry Based on Structural Estimation Methods’. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 13(4):489-507.
Alosco, M.L., M.B. Spitznagel, K. Hall-Fischer, L. Miller, V. Pillai, J. Hughes, and J. Gunstad (2012) ‘Both Texting and Eating Are Associated with Impaired Simulated Driving Performance’. Traffic Injury Prevention, 13(5):468-475.
Bisogni, C., L. Falk, E. Madore, C. Blake, M. Jastran, J. Sobal, and C. Devine (2007) ‘Dimensions of Everyday Eating and Drinking Episodes’. Appetite, 48(2):218-231.
Cohen, L. (2003) A Consumers’ Republic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Devine, C., T. Farrell, C. Blake, M. Jastran, E. Wethington, and C. Bisogni (2009) ‘Work Conditions and the Food Choice Coping Strategies of Employed Parents’. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 41(5): 365-370.
Dixon, J., D. Woodman, L. Strazdins, C. Banwell, D. Broom, and J. Burgess (2014) ‘Flexible Employment, Flexible Eating and Health Risks’. Critical Public Health, (November):1-15.
Elias, N. (1939, 2nd ed., 2000) The Civilizing Process. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Exisa, H. (2012) Travel Times, Canadian Board of Trade.
Ferdinand, A. and N. Menachemi (2014) ‘Associations between Driving Performance and Engaging in Secondary Tasks: A Systematic Review’. American Journal of Public Health, 104(3): 39-48.
Fischler, C. and E. Masson (2008) Manger : Français, Européens et Américains Face À L’alimentation. Paris: Odile Jacob.
Freund, P. and G. Martin (2008) ‘Fast Cars/Fast Foods: Hyperconsumption and Its Health and Environmental Consequences’. Social Theory & Health, 6(4):309-322.
Gardyn, R. (2002) ‘What’s Cooking’. American Demographic, March:29-36.
Gibson, S. (2007) ‘Food Mobilities: Traveling, Dwelling, and Eating Cultures’. Space and Culture, 10(1):4-21.
Glass, J., J. Mitchell, M. de Zwaan, S. Wonderlich, R. Crosby, J. Roerig.
M. Burgard, K. Lancaster, and J. Voxland (2004) ‘Eating Behavior and Other Distracting Behaviors While Driving among Patients with Eating Disorders’. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 45(3):235-237.
Glaze, A. and J. Ellis (2003) Pilot Study of Distracted Drivers. Richmond, VA: Virginia Commonwealth University.
Hamrick, K., M. Andrews, J. Guthrie, D. Hopkins, and K. Mcclelland (2011) How Much Time Do Americans Spend on Food? Washington, DC: USDA.
Harris Interactive Research (2012) ‘Poll: Majority of U.S. Adults Distracted behind the Wheel’. Family Safety & Health, 71(1):4.
Herbst, K. and J. Stanton (2007) ‘Changes in Family Dynamics Predict Purchase and Consumption’. British Food Journal, 109(8):648-655.
Jackson, M. (2008) ‘Grab and Go: A Restless Nation Tanks Up’. Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, 8(3):32-38.
Kantar Media (2014) ‘U.S. Advertising Expenditures Increased 5.7 Percent’, http://kantarmedia.us/press/us-advertising-expenditure-q1-2014 (23, June, 2014).
Kenyon, S. and G. Lyons (2007) ‘Introducing Multitasking to the Study of Travel and ICT: Examining Its Extent and Assessing Its Potential Importance’. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 41(2):161-175.
Kline, Stephen (2011) Globesity, Food Marketing and Family Lifestyles. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Larson, N., M. Nelson, D. Neumark-Sztainer, M. Story, and P. Hannan (2009) ‘Making Time for Meals: Meal Structure and Associations with Dietary Intake in Young Adults’. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(1):72-79.
Marchand, R. (1986) Advertising and the American Dream. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.
Marshall, D. and R. Bell (2003) ‘Meal Construction: Exploring the Relationship between Eating Occasion and Location’. Food Quality and Preference, 14(1):53-64.
Monreal, C. (2013) ‘The (Im)Mobile Life of Food and Drink Packaging Technologies in the City’. In James, P., C. Hudson, S. Carroll-Bell, and A. Taing (eds.) People and the Planet 2013 Conference Proceedings, pp. 1-15. Melbourne, Australia: Global Cities Research Institute, RMIT University.
Oches, Sam (2012) ‘QSR Drive-Thru Study’, https://www.qsrmagazine.com/reports/2012-qsr-drive-thru-study (15, January, 2017).
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2007) Managing Urban Traffic Congestion. Paris: OECD.
Richter, A. (2005) Home on the Rails: Women, the Railroad, and the Rise of Public Domesticity. PLACE: The University of North Carolina Press.
Ritzer, G. (2007, 2nd ed.) The McDonaldization of Society 5. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Peters, G. and B. Peters (2002) ‘The Distracted Driver’. Professional Safety, 47(3):10.
Piasecki, A. (2000) ‘Blowing the Railroad Trumpet: Public Relations on the American Frontier’. Public Relations Review 26(1):53-65.
Schlosser, E. (2001) Fast Food Nation. New York, NY: Mariner Books.
Squires, G. (2002) Urban Sprawl: Causes, Consequences and Policy Response. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.
Stutts, J., J. Feaganes, E. Rodgman, C. Hamlett, T. Meadows, and D. Reinfurt (2003) Distractions in Everyday Driving. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety.
Stutts, J., J. Feaganes, D. Reinfurt, E. Rodgman, C. Hamlett, K. Gish, and L. Staplin (2005) ‘Driver’s Exposure to Distractions in Their Natural Driving Environment’. Accident; Analysis and Prevention, 37(6):1093-1101.
Sustainable Transportation and Communications Group (2010) Contribution of the Automotive Industry to the Economies of all Fifty States in the United States. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Automotive Research
Urry, J. (2006) ‘Travelling Times’. European Journal of Communication, 21(3):357-372.
Warde, A. (2005) ‘Consumption and Theories of Practice’. Journal of Consumer Culture, 5(2):131-153.
Wilson, F. and J. Stimpson (2010) ‘Trends in Fatalities from Distracted Driving in the United States, 1999 to 2008’. American Journal of Public Health, 100(11):2213-2219.
Witzel, M. (2006) The American Diner. St. Paul, MN: MBI Publishing Company.
Young, M., J. Mahfoud, G. Walker, D. Jenkins, and N. Stanton (2008) ‘Crash Dieting: The Effects of Eating and Drinking on Driving Performance’. Accident; Analysis and Prevention, 40(1):142-148.