Attitude Adjustment

I'm typically not one to use this forum simply to soapbox, so as I wax vitriol on this subject which is burning a hole in my head for a while, I'll also present some first steps towards a better way of doing things in the hopes that this article stands as more than just a rant. As close as I can figure, it all started with the invention of the TV Dinner. The villainy of cooking real food and taking the time to enjoy a real meal. The proliferation of fast food, handy snacks, minute rice - a seemingly never ending torrent of science experiments in shrink wrapped packages with artistic renderings of whatever original food we're supposed to believe the space-age contents resembles. Much of the twisted cooking and eating attitudes of contemporary society can be directly attributed to the advertising media driving the commercial food marketplace. Six generations of print, radio, television and now internet ads designed to convince a population which in reality has more free time than ever that it simply does not have any time to cook or eat real food. That the very concept of preparing meals from scratch and eating them out of view of the television is downright un-American! The results: a majority of the US Population is not just overweight, but downright FAT. Yes, I said it. We're FAT. Unhealthy is only the beginning of it - committing a slow suicide bite by chemically created bite is more accurate. No one wants to hear it, but the fact is that no amount of Wii Fit, magic pills or "diet" soda is going to pull us out of this culinary death spiral until we collectively change our attitudes about food and eating. What can be done? Based on my own experience, it starts at the market. Changing one's food shopping and buying habits is a big first step. Shop more frequently, purchase less junk. Stop eating fast food. Don't stock the freezer with microwave garbage. The simple rule is this: REAL FOOD ROTS. If an item has an expiration date around the time of the next presidential election, it is a science experiment, not a meal. Read the labels of the pre-processed, pre-packaged items. Not all packaged food items are bad, of course. There is nothing wrong with a well stocked pantry of tinned and dry goods that last for a while and are good for you. Tomato paste is a great staple, just buy the stuff that's only tomatoes, no HFCS or weird chemicals.)  Author Michael Pollan states it best, in my opinion: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Next is cooking. The word intimidates a lot of people. It shouldn't. Preparing a meal for yourself or your family need not be a day long ordeal. There are a multitude of resources from TV shows to cookbooks targeted specifically at preparation of healthy meals in 30 minutes or less.  Start simple and build your way up from there. Ask a parent or a friend for help. There is no shame in learning tMore Real Foodo feed yourself or your family. If you mess up, try again. Need ideas? What were your favorite fast food / convenience food items pretending to be? Find a recipe to create those dishes using fresh identifiable ingredients and work from there. Still at a loss? write to us here at the Rogue Estate and we'll happily provide guidance. Which brings us to: the act of eating. We all have some terrible habits when it comes to eating. We moved from large family dinners at designated times and places to mindlessly sucking down synthetic mush alone in our cars. Do we need to become the Brady Bunch? No, although it would probably not hurt, I realize for many it's impractical. Family units are smaller and often fragmented. More people live alone in America than ever. Regardless, meal time needs exactly that: TIME. Take a few moments to plate your food, sit at a table, turn off the TV / laptop / other distraction. Slow down, TASTE your food. Chew, savor, enjoy. Be conscious of each bite, eat less, enjoy it more. Even if it's only ten minutes eating from a paper plate using a plastic fork, you'll be on your way to a better existence. Breaking bad habits is definitely not the easiest thing to do, but it is essential if we as a society are to stop killing ourselves with every swallow. I'm practicing what I preach: I stopped eating fast food back in the 90's. I rarely drink soda pop and when I do, I avoid those with HFCS, opting for only genuine cane sugar. I don't eat in the car unless absolutely necessary. I read the labels on every packaged food item and reject those with more chemicals, salts and sugars than actual produDelicious real food.ce in them. My favorite part of the lifestyle: I dine with friends whenever I can, sharing the meal and the experience. I'm not prefect by any stretch, but I can tell you quite proudly that a recent physical exam showed that while still classified as overweight, I am healthier than the average person my age. My Blood pressure, cholesterol levels, sugars and such are all well within the really good to really great levels. Unlike most of my family, I've also not developed type 2 diabetes. I attribute these results directly to my attitudes toward cooking and eating. If I can do it, I think anyone can succeed. This is all certainly the tip of the iceberg and I concede to some generalizations on the subject - despite that, I hope I've gotten my point across and given you *ahem* some food for thought. I welcome your questions, suggestions and opinions in the comments. Eat better, live better. Let's do this thing. -///
A consummate nerd, yet still plays well with others.
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5 Comments  to  Attitude Adjustment

  1. Memepunks says:

    Corollary: I read this after sucking down Mcdonalds in my car.

  2. Macross says:

    That may eventually transition from corollary to coronary.

    -///

  3. Doc says:

    Nice rant Bob. Between HFCS, preservatives, and massive sodium/ MSG… modern food isn’t food anymore. Enjoy this story on YouTube to back-up the ‘REAL FOOD ROTS’ statement in Bob’s editorial. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IGtDPG4UfI

  4. Memepunks says:

    True. I believe it was ancient Sinanju Master Chuin that said;

    “Pitiful. I can see the deadly hamburger has done its evil work.”

    and

    “Do you know why Americans call it ‘fast food’? Because it speeds them on their way to their graves.”

    In other news, Remo Williams came out 25 years ago, and I am officially old. :(

  5. jimbotr0n says:

    Cooking with ingredients that you’ve selected and can recognize is key. I do understand the argument that especially for my single friends, it can be difficult to pull together the energy to cook something up alone frequently. However, I will say that good leftovers are the gift that keeps on giving – so don’t cook for one, cook for 3 and eat a few days in a row.

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