How to quickly/easily process a db value after find?

I have a database field that’s storing a json_encoded PHP object. I need to json_encode before saving ( easy in beforeSave() ) and then json_decode every time I pull it from the db.

It feels wasteful and silly to be using json_decode in the controller every time and everywhere.

There’s no afterFind() method. The whole map/reduce thing is still far too intimidating and opaque to me — even 5 years since I first encountered it and ended up deciding not to use it on a previous project for that very reason. Looking at the docs today, I still can’t really figure out how it works or how to implement it, but even if I could figure it out, it really looks like massive overkill / bloat for the simple little thing I’m trying to do.