Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Good Food, Cheap Food, Easy Food

I think about food a lot.

It's part of my job, after all.  All these people we've produced keep wanting it, and they're always lookin' at me at mealtime.  And snack time.  And almost snack time.  And I know it's not snack time but Mom, I'm STARVING!!!!  I am certifiably neurotic about only letting the kids eat at specified times; otherwise, I would literally do nothing but feed somebody All Day.  Not to mention the mysterious habit of begging for snacks all day, and then the appetite vanishes come dinnertime...even if said snacks were never granted.

But I digress.

Anyone who cares about health and has limited resources can probably relate to what I am about to say.

Good food isn't cheap.  And it isn't easy.

And I venture to say: it shouldn't be.  At least not in the sense we see around us.

In the past, people usually raised or bought staples, and made what they wanted or needed from that.  Now I don't have any secret desire to be Ma Ingalls, much as I love to read about her, don't get me wrong.  But I think that our cheap, easy food culture has created a monster, where one (among many) reason we struggle with our weight is because many of us have access to cheap, rich foods whenever we want.  Pies, pastries, cakes, cookies, chips, ice cream, chocolates...cheap.  Easy.

What if we had to make it all from scratch?  Most people wouldn't have time.  Many people wouldn't have the money.  Yes, it can be cheaper to cook from scratch for a comparable item, but since homemade foods are often made from, oh I don't know, FOOD, they tend to be more costly than the latest concoction of Red 5.

I'm not announcing any sort of dietary perfection.  A glance in my freezer will always reveal some purchased ice cream.  Why?  We like it.  A lot.  Homemade ice cream costs a fortune, and is a pain to make even with an automatic churn.  (Any Trim Healthy Mama friends who may be reading this...fear not.  Mine's low carb. ;))  I'm not immune.

I am saying that I firmly believe that the industrialization of our food has been a terrible mistake.   We took food production away from people who cared about feeding their families, and gave it to people who cared about the bottom line.  The result?  Cheap, easy convenience food, full of cheap and tasty junk.  The kind of junk that makes you crave it - and it's so cheap and easy, why not have another?

We were all better off when food was harder to prepare. Those foods can be profoundly nourishing - and less tempting to go crazy on.  They are made to fill and nurture, not tantalize with fake flavor, in the hopes of making a buck.

Just something to chew on.

Be Blessed,

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