There are those who live to eat, and there are others that eat to live. Far more of us fall into the former group but our abilities to prepare tasty yet healthy food is becoming a forgotten art.
Never before has the price of food been so cheap. Anywhere from fresh meats and vegetables to the raw ingredients that make up our daily diets have we seen the prices of food so cheap. In the 1930’s Americans paid up to twenty-five percent of their disposable income on food where today we spend a paltry ten percent. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to on anything and food is certainly no exception. Improved production techniques on American farms have increased the yields on everything from beef to poultry and from corn to soybeans and wheat, but not all of this has been good for our health. The use of pesticides and growth hormones have allowed yields to increase around the world but obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and other chronic illnesses is the price that Americans are now paying for such cheap food.
Cheap food means more food. The amount of food that we pile onto our plates is contributing to the fact that we are simply eating ourselves to death. People are exercising now more than ever but the advanced calorie intake is far outweighing anything that we are doing in the gym or at Pilates.
Fast food is another example of cheap over processed food. It may taste good and fit perfectly into our busy and hectic lives but the poor nutritional value and high calories of fast foods are contributing significantly to obesity and poor long-term health. It’s far too easy to pick up a pizza or bucket of chicken on the way home from work when you are tired and just want to put your feet up and relax. And ironically it is also probably cheaper than cooking at home.
But the main area where People have lost their way when it comes to food is in the kitchen. Our ability to take all of the wonderful ingredients that nature has to offer and produce delicious healthy food is becoming a lost art. It takes time to buy the fresh ingredients and obviously time in the kitchen to prepare our favorite recipes, and Americans, in general, have lost their way in the kitchen. In previous generations, before the onslaught of cheap fast food, most of our daily meals were made from scratch using raw unprocessed ingredients. Economic times were also different in that perhaps only one member of a middle class family had to work and the other could dedicate time end energy to preparing the daily family meals. Now with the shrinking middle class and all members of the family having to work to make ends meet, less and less time is being spent in the kitchen.
In order to take back control over what we eat and nourish our bodies with, People must re-discover the principles of cooking and the enjoyment that it brings. You may be tired from a long day at work but stopping by the local grocer on the way home and picking up your favorite fresh ingredients will bring you much more happiness, health and renewed energy.
That glass of wine will taste better too.