|August 27, 2009||Posted by admin under Cooking, Healthy Eating, News, Nutrition|
As few as 50 years ago, American housewives across the nation spent each day preparing homemade meals for their families. Now it’s as easy as buying a whole meal frozen, popping it in the microwave and eating it – all in under 20 minutes – and with hardly any clean up! At some point in the past couple of decades, the general public became convinced that we need not waste our valuable time in the kitchen and that we should, instead, let someone else prepare our food for us. I believe that this type of thinking is at the root of America’s increasing diet-related disease epidemic.
Most of the ready-made food items on the market today are designed to save us two things: money and time. Health is typically an afterthought with these products. If you examine the ingredients list in many of these pre-made foods, you’ll see a long list of preservatives and additives that you can’t even pronounce: sodium benzoate, calcium propionate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, calcium sorbate, potassium sorbate, BHA, BHT, EDTA, monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed soy protein, autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate, cellulose gel, carrageenan, polydextrose and modified food starch. Think of it this way: would you rather have a chef or a chemist prepare your meal?
My point here is that in order to control our diets in a positive way, we need to be aware of what we’re putting into our mouths. The best way to do this is to learn to cook food for ourselves from raw, fresh ingredients. There is nothing more satisfying than cooking a healthy and flavorful meal from amazing commodities grown by hard-working farmers. When we go to the market and buy something, it’s just like voting for what kind of food is made available to us. Sure, cooking from scratch takes more time than pressing a number on the microwave, but the benefits that eating fresh, unprocessed foods have on your life are worth taking a little extra time.
Photo from Flickr.