In 1955 an amazing thing happened that changed the way see food and what we expect from our food. The concept of fast food changed forever! The McDonalds model of fast food and their advertising took hold in our country.
When my folks were kids everything was made from scratch.
- Most of it came from the family garden and was prepared and preserved seasonally to last the year. There was a lot of time spent in the kitchen preparing meals and foods for now and the somewhat near future.
- Obesity rates weren’t an issue, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer were far less common than today. Then it all got "easier," or was it?
Advertising and marketing did an excellent job of convincing the American woman she was spending too much time "in the kitchen" (men too). Use this boxed food to "save time" and effort. Commercials depicted happy housewives of the era having so much more time because they could now prepare boxed! Ready made food. (If your listen to your grandma or great grandma you might find that Mac and cheese from scratch takes just the same time as the blue box to make and tastes better.)
Then, the fast food restaurant entered the scene. If the highly "fortified" boxed meals weren’t fast enough, then the fast food place with the yellow roof is the answer. This isn’t as big a deal in Sweden where they realize it isn’t good for you and rarely visit the places, however in America its become an issue of people eating it on a regular basis rather than as an occasion treat. Enter mass malnutrition and a higher incidence of the big four. (not a college conference, unfortunately)
Let’s talk about ‘fast food’.
- The average person needs 5-10 minutes to get to the fast food restaurant. (this number increases exponentially depending on the number of and ages of your children)
- Then, you wait in line to order, another 5-10 minutes.
- You find a seat at the restaurant, get your kids set up with their meals, clean up a spill of some sort and replace the spilled food, another 10 minutes.
- You eat the food. (in our case, the 6 yr old will be eating for the next 60-75 minutes)
- You clear the table and throw out all the trash from your meal, clean up the kids, take 1 or two to the potty, and head out to the car.
At home, you wouldn’t have had to load and unload the kids, the meal could have been ready in the same 30 minutes for less money, the kids could have used the potty by themselves without fear of what foreign germs or strange people might be lurking in the bathroom. Thus loading the kids up one time to get to the destination of the evening and if they spill dinner on their outfit it could be changed before going on to ‘the event’ of the evening.
It’s not difficult to prepare, create, and serve healthy foods/meals. The mindset is the biggest obstacle to overcome. We see TONS of marketing on the boob tube about how much easier it is if we use this box or that box, or allow a hand to help you out… But it really isn’t that big of a time saver, in fact, I’ve found I can make dinner faster without it…and I don’t have to freak out if there isn’t a box in the pantry anymore. I don’t need no stinking box!
I hear so many people say, "I don’t have time to make it myself." "I don’t have time to eat healthy." and I can’t help but wonder…
When WILL you have time to schedule
- the biopsies/chemo/radiation
- the bypass/stress test/stent placement
- the wait times in the waiting rooms/pharmacies/specialists office
- insulin testing/administering insulin/dialysis/wound care
It’s really all just a trade off. Perhaps, a little effort today could prevent the need to be forced to schedule time for doctor’s visits and such. OR… Perhaps you could learn a couple new skills today that could prevent the big 4 and allow you to enjoy the later years of your life outside playing around rather than spending the time in waiting rooms with everyone else.
Stop listening to the boob tube adds, please. Washing some fruit/veggies, or making a batch of protein bars, doesn’t really take that long and the benefits could last a longer lifetime!!!