After all the reading (and preaching) I've done lately about the importance of eating fresh, whole foods I still can't seem to break my inclination to reach for the stuff that tastes good, but isn't necessarily good for you.
I suppose I could blame it on my upbringing, but I did later live a very healthy, natural foods type of life for many years. So, I do know better - and I know I CAN do better. I just don't anymore and I guess it's laziness.
I was raised by an educated mother who enjoyed her career and hated cooking . Her meal plans were determined by what was quickest. This was in a time before prepackaged meals, so weekday suppers usually meant boiled potatoes, a can of corn and fried Spam doused with ketchup.
On weekends, when she had more time, she might (over)cook a roast or put on a pot of beans. I don't remember many salads, unless you count her shredded carrots in Jello concoction. We ate sliced tomatoes, but I don't think I ever tasted a cucumber that wasn't in pickle form. Fruits were limited to apples, oranges and bananas.
My sister and I ate lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches washed down with Kool-Aid. Our parents lived on coffee and cigarettes.
In later years, when my parents finally retired, they bought my Grandmother's old farm house and property, planted a garden and raised chickens. My Mother would call me and proudly say, "We're eating like poor folks!" Meaning, of course, that she had gone back to her roots and was once again eating sweet potatoes, turnip greens and black-eyed peas she had grown herself and was cooking cornbread and drinking iced tea.
But, it was too late for my sister and I, who were raised on Fruit Loops, frozen fish sticks and Tang.
However, in that statement of hers, I finally got a flash of insight. My mother grew up in a large family during the depression. They depended upon their garden to eat. They canned what they grew and baked their own bread by necessity. So success -to her generation- was having a career that gave you enough money to buy your food from a store. You didn't have to nurse your babies! You worked and, therefore, could afford to buy canned formula that caretakers could feed your child in a bottle.
Those bottle-fed babies (my generation) grew up to become "hippies". We rejected our parents way of life and went back to the land. (Well, for awhile anyway.) We identified with our grandparents.
Our children, tired of living on bean sprouts and tofu, swung the other way. They craved Happy Meals and rejoiced in grandparents (our parents) who bought them Slurpees and served Pop Tarts for breakfast and Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and Meatballs in a can for lunch.
Their children (our grandchildren) - those now in high school and college - have tipped back towards us. They are the vegetarians.
|It all depends on your point of view.|
In between all these generations are lots of confused people! How else can you explain the simultaneous popularity of Starbucks with its unnatural, flavored coffees and Sushi - the ultimate fresh food? There has to be a happy medium out there somewhere.
Maybe I'll just put a dab of Cool Whip on that fruit salad.
Twinkie, deconstructed: my journey to discover how the ingredients found in processed foods are grown, mined (yes, mined), and manipulated into what America eats by Ettlinger, Steve
Dr. Earl Mindell's Unsafe at any meal: how to avoid hidden toxins in your food by Mindell, Earl
Fast food nation : the dark side of the all-American meal by Schlosser, Eric.
The paleo solution: the original human diet by Wolf, Robb