Thinking out of the Box

We’ve all been sold on the idea of not having enough time to cook. Marketing agencies for big food companies have worked very hard over many decades to do this with the goal of selling lots and lots of poor quality packaged convenience food. They have been very successful and have convinced us, miraculously, that it tastes good and is healthy, or at least not harmful. That’s all we have to do is look at the poor state of the average Americans health to determine how wrong the health claim is. The fact that most of it is unhealthy is a no brainer but the fact that we think it tastes good is a matter of altered palettes. The fact is, the convenience food industry grew out of the war ration industry of the 1940’s. Basically, our taste buds have been trained to like, if not even crave, the salty poor quality fake food that was made to last months and years during world war II when folks may not have access to food at all. All well and good for the war years, but now?

Back to the ad agencies successfully convincing us we have no time. I’m skeptical of that. How can we have no time to cook healthy meals for ourselves and our families yet have on average 4-1/2 hours per day to watch T.V.1? And that is a modest statistic, some claim we watch even more. We’ve been told we have no time and we’ve believed them. We’ve been told cooking is a drag and it’s difficult. We’ve been told healthy is expensive (it’s not when you know how to shop for these types of items). We’ve been told so many destructive lies that undermine our health for the profits of large food companies it’s hard to wade through them all. But I’ll get off my soapbox and get down to what I’m doing here.

What I plan on doing in the “Get out of the Box” series is to share with you some of my favorite recipes that I’ve discovered, through trial and error, do a great job at replacing those processed box products we’ve been sold. Overall, they don’t take all that much more time and in the long run cost a whole lot less too.

The food industry is interesting and, in my opinion, very important to be aware of. Whatever your opinion is, whether you care or not, that’s fine with me. I’m not preaching. BUT, it is important to be aware of what is going on with the food you put into your body. I imagine many of you are familiar with Fast Food Nation and/or Supersize Me least of all you’ve heard of them. It’s a good start. Here is a list of some great resources to learn more. This is in no way all the books I have read or recommend, just a primer.

The Omnivores Dilemma – Michael Pollen

Food Rules – Michael Pollen

In Defense of Food – Michael Pollen

Food Politics – Marian Nestle

What to Eat – Marion Nestle

I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Eat It Anymore – Christina Pirello

Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser (also a documentary)

Movies:

Food, Inc.

Supersize Me

Forks over Knives

Footnotes:

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