When "fast food" was invented back in the 1950s or whenever, we were cautiously optimistic. A ground hamburger patty and french-fried potatoes served in less time than it takes to raise and slaughter a cow, plant a field of potatoes, and build a fire? Sure, why not? But today it seems that Americans have forgotten how to take their time with their food.

Breakfast: the most American of all meals. Hell, you can go to Morocco or Japan or Russia or Botswana and find something resembling dinner, but only in America can you get a proper breakfast consisting of 1) eggs 2) bread product 3) meat substance and 4) cheez. Big Breakfast is a $50 BILLION industry here in America. Fortunes are won and lost by catering skillfully to Americans' taste for consuming 1,500-calorie meals before 9 a.m. But is the high pressure competitive atmosphere of USA Breakfast tearing us apart, as social beings? From Ad Age:

"You can have the 1950s breakfast to go now," said NPD Group VP Harry Balzer, noting that the average time spent eating breakfast is 13 minutes.

Assuming that "the 1950s breakfast" is actually a misnomer for "the 21st century American breakfast in which a stack of pancakes is treated as a 'side order' or, even more shockingly, some sort of bastardized burrito in which to wrap sausage and eggs," 13 minutes is just not safe.

Take your time, America. You're bound to choke.

[Ad Age. Photo: Simon Doggett/ Flickr]