So much of what Americans consume each day can hardly even be called "food". A great book called "In Defense of Food" goes into great detail about what it is that we are actually eating. If our grandparents couldn't recognize it, chances are it isn't really "food". How in the world did we get to the point that opening a box, taking out 2 cardboard looking pastries w/ sprinkles on top and putting them in the toaster qualifies as a great way to start the day.
Once again I want to share a blurb from Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". (I won't make this a habit....but I am just loving this book). Keep in mind this quote comes from a well-respected New York Times Best-Selling novelist.
"I belong to the generation of women who took as our youthful rallying cry: Allow us a good education so we won't have to slave in the kichen. We recoiled from the proposition that keeping a husband presentable and fed should be our highest intellectual aspiriation. We fought for entry as equal partners into every quarter of the labor force. We went to school, sweated those exams, earned our professional strips, and we beg therefore to be excused form manual labor. Or else our full-time job is manual labor, we are carpenters or steelworkers, or we stand at a cash register all day. At the end of a shift we deserve to go home and put our feet up. Somehow, though, history came around and bit us in the backside: now most women have jobs AND still find themselves largely in charge of the housework. Cooking at the end of a long day is a burden we could live without.
It's a reasonable position. But it got twisted into pathological food culture. When my generation of women walked away from the kitchen we were escorted down that path by a profiteering industry that knew a tied, vulnerable marketing target when they saw it. 'Hey ladies,' it said to us, 'go ahead, get liberated. WE'LL take care of dinner.' They threw open the door and we walked into a nutritional crisis and genuinely toxic food supply. If you think toxic is an exaggeration, read the package directions for handling raw chicken from a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation). We came a long way, baby, into bad eating habits and collaterally impaired family dynamics. No matter what else we do or believe, food remains at the center of every culture. Ours now runs on empty calories.
When we traded homemaking for careers, we ere implicitly promised economic independence and worldly influence. But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma of warm bread rising, the measured pace of nuturing routines, the creative task of molding our families taste and zest for life; we received in exchange the minivan and the Lunchable. (Or worse, convenience-mart hotdogs and latchkey kids.) I consider it the great hoodwink of my generation."
She goes on to say that while we have all become busier in this country, maybe it's time to take a look at what we are so busy doing. Maybe it's time to dedicate a litte more time to cooking, which she expresses as "the great divide between good eating and bad". Maybe it's time to include the whole family and recognize that "we have dealt today's kids the statistical hand of a shorter life expectancy that their parents."