I don’t know if this is just plain sad or if it’s a refreshing bit of common sense, but the government has advised that people should cook more to improve their general nutrition.
Part of me says, really? We need our federal government to impart this little gem? Is this news to anyone?
Another part of me, the more realistic one, knows that (a) yes, people do need to be told; and (b) regardless of who is urging them on to better habits, people probably aren’t going to listen, much.
The thing is, we’re bombarded by so many mixed messages that I can almost understand if someone decides to throw up their hands. We’re flooded by advertising for fast food restaurants and convenience foods. If a family is out and about, in need of a quick meal, there will certainly be a MacD’s or Burger King or whatever about as far as they can spit in any direction, but they’d be hard pressed to find a place with a decent salad bar.
Then they turn around only to encounter some Food Nazi or another spouting dire warnings about buying regular produce, meat, or dairy from a run-of-the-mill supermarket – it’s poison, full of pesticides and hormones and Lord only knows what else. And they figure, why bother? If my food’s gonna kill me, I might as well die happy with a bellyful of fat and salt.
I’d ask the Food Nazis to riddle me this: would you rather have these beleaguered folk eat some grilled supermarket veggies and maybe a piece of “brand name” chicken or steak made at home, or should they run out for a Supervalue Meal? Should they give their kid a glass of supermarket milk, or let them have a Big Gulp?
Do I wish that I could eat all local, fresh, organic, pure-as-the-driven-snow produce, meat, dairy, etc.? Sure – that would be great, but it’s not realistic for me, for a variety of reasons. I think my family is living proof that getting lettuce at Costco and drinking factory milk and eating grapes from … well, not from around here, is a whole lot better than living on takeout. We’re a pretty healthy bunch. We do grow some food in the summer and enjoy farmer’s markets and such, and my hat is off to anyone who subsists on mostly local, fresh foods – this is not a criticism of that lifestyle. I simply object to the highly publicized evangelists who scare the crap out of the general public, whose access to produce and whole foods is likely to be through more commercial outlets.
This little conundrum isn’t likely to get solved any time soon, and anyway, we’ve got an oil leak to deal with.
In the meantime, be well, eat your veggies, go for a walk. And happy Friday!