Does Anyone Remember How to Cook?

This ponder reflects the closest I’ll ever come to any sort of resolution. With it I’m offering a suggestion; when visiting the grocery store – never venture into the aisles. Only shop the edges of your market, go home and cook a meal. By skirting the walls you find the building blocks for a great meal. It’s all there – fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat, even meat substitutes for those so inclined. Give in to the lure of the aisles you enter the realm of packaged convenience, a place ruled by slick marketing and ridiculously over-packaged “time savers”.

Our single serving, ready to serve world is becoming so widely accepted – I believe people think they’re cooking when they combine a chicken breast with pre-peeled potatoes, frozen vegetables, and packaged sauce.

Maybe I’m getting old, or perhaps my rural upbringing left a lasting imprint of fresh baked bread, home made jam, and canning peaches. Microwave ovens were science fiction, I didn’t have one in my house until after I was married. I remember when instant potatoes hit the shelves; we imagined ourselves to be astronauts – it escaped reason why else you would have to eat them. In our wildest dreams we couldn’t have grasped where Betty Crocker and Tang drink crystals would take us.

Obesity rates increase each year, and childhood obesity is epidemic.Food allergies are out of control – working in the hospitality industry I’ve watched nothing less than a phenomena develop. Twenty years ago there was an occasional peanut allergy. today ever other person is gluten or lactose intolerant. Vitamin and food supplement industries have exploded as we try to get back the nutrition processed out of our food.

Never mind the dozen or so pubic hairs estimated each of us consume in a year or the allowable rodent “dirt” in our peanut butter and cereal – that’s the least of our worries. Venture into the aisles and enter a chemistry lab. It takes up to 50 chemicals to imitate the flavor of a strawberry. Processed cheese can elude to it’s namesake with 51% cheese, the rest is chemical soup. If not for added chemicals, the 10 teaspoons of sugar in every can of Coke would make us immediately vomit. Appearance, taste and shelf life satisfy the bottom line – nutritional buzz words lull us into submission as chemists spin their magic. Try to justify resources squandered on over packaging and  impact unavoidable waste has on the environment –  give up on that fruitless exercise and ask yourself why you would eat a chemical found in anti freeze used to keep pre-packaged salad crisp for weeks.

We’re fat and unhealthy because we eat like lab rats. Bodies are shutting down; rejecting and reacting to chemicals that have no business in so called food. Ponder the edges of your grocery store the next time you shop, it won’t solve all the problems but it’s a good place to start.