Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

This article, by one of my favorite authors, Mark Bittman, covers a common question- 'is junk food really cheaper?' If you're familiar with this subject- you know the answer is a resounding NO!  When it comes to our wallets, waist lines, healthcare, etc, we're killing ourselves with fast and cheap 'food.'  As someone who spends a lot of time and money cooking for myself and loved ones, sometimes I need a reminder of WHY it's important to cook at home and know what you're putting into your body.  Yes, in some sense we're all 'addicted' to food since we need to eat to survive; but what you might not realize that addiction to certain kinds of processed and fatty foods is a very real thing that we, as a culture, NEED to back away from.  Some of my favorite excerpts:

"This addiction to processed food is the result of decades of vision and hard work by the industry. For 50 years, says David A. Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and author of “The End of Overeating,” companies strove to create food that was “energy-dense, highly stimulating, and went down easy. They put it on every street corner and made it mobile, and they made it socially acceptable to eat anytime and anyplace. They created a food carnival, and that’s where we live. And if you’re used to self-stimulation every 15 minutes, well, you can’t run into the kitchen to satisfy that urge.”
 "HOW do you change a culture? The answers, not surprisingly, are complex. “Once I look at what I’m eating,” says Dr. Kessler, “and realize it’s not food, and I ask ‘what am I doing here?’ that’s the start. It’s not about whether I think it’s good for me, it’s about changing how I feel. And we change how people feel by changing the environment.” 

"To make changes like this more widespread we need action both cultural and political. The cultural lies in celebrating real food; raising our children in homes that don’t program them for fast-produced, eaten-on-the-run, high-calorie, low-nutrition junk; giving them the gift of appreciating the pleasures of nourishing one another and enjoying that nourishment together." 

Cooking at home not only gives you the knowledge that you're doing something good for your body- but you're also doing something good for your family.  If I'm spending an hour preparing dinner, you better believe we're not eating in front of the TV.  We're sitting at the table and talking like real people.  And it's awesome.

Read the full article.

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