Kitchen Convenience. How Much is too Much?
“When I was a boy”….How many stories begin with that statement? I can see you eyes glaze over as you read this, but bear with me. This is another story of the “Good Ol’ Days.” And no, its not “good’ because I have a faulty memory. Its something that I have revisited and tried on for size and find that, yet again, we, that is, you and I have been sold a bill of goods, by those amazing purveyors of BS.
So, with out further ado. “When I was a boy….we were poor”. Truly we didn’t have much, but on the other hand we had more than I see us, the boomers bequeathing to our progeny. I had a pristine backyard, a forest of trees, streams, lakes and fields to roam and wander in and explore. It was simpler back then and that simplicity was reflected in pretty much all that we did. Our kitchen, where my mother taught me to cook, because both she and my father worked out of the home and it was expected that I share the load of the family chores and responsibility, was a simple one. No cappachino maker, no juicer, no food processor, microwave or chocolate fountain to be found in our kitchen. The grocery store was just that, a store that stocked fruits, veggies, dairy and meat, served by locals who bought local and sold local. No elaborately packaged, prepared and chemically enhanced food stuffs with lists of strange and marvelous concoctions that would not seem out of place in my first year university organic chemistry text, a time when organic didn’t mean anything other than just that. It had nothing to with a yuppie quest for unadultered food. It wasn’t new and improved or value added, wrapped in p-lastic or hermetically sealed for freshness. It needed to be washed, peeled, prepared, flavoured (mostly with salt and pepper) and presented.
It got me to thinking that perhaps its not so much work to go back to basics, peel my own potatoes and carrots, make my own fruit salads, in short become my own middleman and do the work myself. And in truth, by the time I was done reading the list of chemicals in the prepackaged and pre-prepared foods, had looked up what in fact these chemicals were and then understood, it was far simpler and easier to just grab knife and begin the preparation.
I discovered this. Almost no meal from start to finish, takes more than 45 minutes to prepare, cook and serve. Compare this with the frozen microwaved marvels. By the time I was able to unwrap, put into dishes, assign a time, zap and serve, I found that forty five minutes was used up. But along with the roughly the same amount of time I also had a pile of chemicals, food that was laden with saturated fats, transfats, sugars and salt, not to mention the over packaged containers this food comes in. And it didn’t taste nearly as good!
I recommend you try this sometime. Ditch the processed, value-added, over packaged, microwave marvels and try out the fresh stuff. You’ll be surprised, save a whack of energy, eat better and save the land fills an extra trip.
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