Food revolution–is it our battle?

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC was an interesting reality tv show.  The reality was not confined within the walls of one family or one couple. It was a reality show about how one town’s consumption of processed food and poor eating habits was impacting the health of  many of the town’s residents.  The shows primary focus was on school food, but showed families and individual’s eating habits too.  The reality of it is that the problem is not with one small town, but it is an epidemic all over America. It is our battle. 

If you have watched the series, you may have realized that Jamie does really care about people and is incredibly moved by what children eat.  His meme is that this generation of children is the first to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.   This should be very disturbing to all Americans.  This celebrity stranger cares more about these people and their children, than they care for themselves. 

I share in Jamie’s passion for food and family.  I missed the episode on last Friday, but watched it this morning at www.abc.go.com.   I actually started crying while watching.  This man, a chef and complete stranger to most of the individuals on the show, cares more about some of these children than their parents care for them.  Instead of allowing the children to eat his wholesomely planned lunches, parents were sending their young children to school with potato chips, pop, pop tarts and candy for lunch.  Other children stated they had pizza for breakfast, chicken nuggets for lunch, and chicken nuggest and fries for dinner.  The obesity was evident and related to lifestyle and eating habits.  UGH! 

The parents just don’t get it–you are what you eat.  Your children are obese, because you allow them to eat poorly too.  In this immediate gratification world, parents would rather throw convenience food at the kids, because that is what they like and that is what is cheap and came out of the freezer.  Parents spend more time searching for that flat screen tv, the new pair of shoes for mommy, which vacation to take, which accent pillows to buy, or which manicure to get than they do thinking about their family’s food choices. Can’t they see they are making decisions detrimental to their children’s well-being.   Pediatricians equate continued poor food choices and obesity to child abuse.  What do you think?

The food choices should not be a battle  — just a way of life.

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Loving Jamie Olivers Food Revolution

Next week brings spring break and ample hours to blog — woo hoo!  I am preoccupied with several new men in my life.  I will tell you about them at the end of this blog.      

In the meantime, I am sure glad Jamie Oliver and ABC have decided to bring attention to poor eating habits in America.  It is not only the school lunch programs that need revamping, food habits of many families are in a terrible state.  Two parents working, sports, music lessons, errands…..never time to cook.   These folks believe that home-cooked foods are any food cooked at home.  Their home cooked meals include frozen pizzas, more chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, boxed macaroni cheese, cheese sandwiches made with plastic sheets of cheese.  These foods are over processed, over chemically preserved, over salted, and are a way of life for too many.

As a kid, I never liked cheese or pizza, macaroni and cheese, or grilled cheese sandwiches.  I grew up during the time of new-styled frozen dinners (Swedish meatballs, lasagna) in foil disposable baking pans, chinese food assembled from a two-part canned product poured over white rice, etc.  My mom even made soup from a soup-starter type product with dried up vegetables that you rehydrated with water.  I never understood how that really was a time or money saver.    My mom’s salads were always the same ice burg lettuce, a slice of tomato, and bottled italian dressing.  I did not eat much.  As a kid,  I always enjoyed grilled meat, fresh vegetables and  home-baked bread, but these were anomalies in my home.   I loved any frozen (not canned) vegetables: spinach, Brussel sprouts, corn, broccoli.   I also loved eating dinner at my best friend’s home.  Her family had six children and her mom cooked from scratch every day–every meal, every day.  In future blogs, I will share some of Mrs. Pukala’s wonderful recipes.  She was very frugal, but made healthy tasty food. 

So…..years later after working at a very stressful career and being liberated by my husband to travel the country with him, I settled down and followed a dream…I went to culinary school.  It was one of the most wonderful ways to learn how to like food.   I was allowed the opportunity to go to Schoolcraft Culinary School where the Master Chef to student ratio was 1:15.  That way of teaching no longer exists.  The master chefs are around, but barely do the direct teaching.  I learned food safety (the first necessity) then food cost, food quality, taste, portion and presentation.   Quality home cooking does not take a lot of time or money.  I beat Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals several times a week.  The correct tools in the kitchen help too.  Information on those tools will come in the blogs to come. 

It does not cost a lot to cook and eat with quality ingredients.  Please think about this cliche type statement: “you are what you eat.”  Would you rather be: tomatoes, basil, olive oil and sea salt or xantham gum, phosphoric acid, red 40, yellow 6?

Back to the new men in my life as a complete side note to this blog — but I must share them with you.  I am completely and totally in love with my husband and always have been, but he introduced me to two guys and is getting quite jealous about the amount of time which I spend with them.  Every Thursday and Sunday afternoon I dedicate to Adam and John.  I am getting Curry-ed away with them.  Please go to www.noagendashow.com and download the No Agenda podcasts.  You may also link to the blog www.dvorak.org.   They will change the way you think and live or think to live.  My eyes are open.

….until next time.  Please share your ideas about removing overly processed and overly chemically preserved foods from your life.  Please share your ideas about adding Adam and John to your life.