Every Thursday, this week being no exception, the St. Paul Pioneer Press lists wonderful places in the Twin Cities to eat that are most often local neighborhood, mainly family owned, treasures. Each week the list of mainly small restaurants, includes ethnically diverse menus and healthy, well-prepared entrees. In our often-fast paced society, we seem to be on an almost pre-established race of some kind, to maintain or grow financially, to take care of our responsibilities and our family needs, to make the most of our “extra” time, to exercise, and spend a little “down” time.
While the “down” time is often wasted on TV, we spend as little time as possible cooking our meals, eating as a dining experience, and planning for our nutritional health. Many magazines on food or for women carry a section on 25 minute or less meals. Places like “Lets Dish”, an establishment designed to shorten the time for wholesome meals, doing most of the cooking for the patrons, who are then able to take home the meal and cook it in a matter of minutes, have become commonplace. While I believe that such establishments help families to make nutritious choices and it is often necessary to create quick weeknight meals, I find it disturbing, that many families do not choose to sit down and eat together, often the TV is playing during the “dining experience”, and we are moving further away from wholesome nutritional diets and further towards disease as a result.
Sixty years ago, not only were chemicals, hormones, genetically engineered food, preservatives, and a long list of additives rare in purchased food, but most Americans ate home cooked meals, made from fresh ingredients. Additionally our health and disease rate was a small fraction of what it is today. Furthermore, the dining experience in most households, centered on the whole family dining together and discussing the day’s events or whatever. Family morals, ethics, and beliefs were well understood by all family members, as the time together was “quality” time.
It seems today, we squeeze in “quality” time between our other commitments and the family gets squeezed out. It is surprising how many teens today, not only have no idea how to cook, are not necessarily interested in learning, but also don’t have an idea of nutrition, where their food comes from, the energetic impact of the food they consume, and how health vs. illness is interconnected.
I believe it is time to become aware of where our food comes from, what we are consuming and how that affects our health and energy, and then make ethical decisions on our food consumption.
Thank-you for reading.