20 Mar Fast Food Does Not a Healthy Body Make: ‘Start Cooking’
Processed food has replaced ‘home cooking’. We pickup processed entrees at the store on the way home from work; we grab salads and wraps at the local deli for lunch. We don’t like to cook—no time, too busy, too much work.
It’s hard to get fat on home cooked meals, at least according to Michael Pollan, American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Look around. It’s everywhere. Yes, everywhere we go here in North America we are constantly surrounded by massive quantities of processed food. The TV Dinner of the 1950s has morphed. Once the sole property of markets, grocery stores, delis, coffee shops and supermarkets, food, processed food, is available to us 24-7. And now not just processed to last 30years like Twinkies can, the food industry keeps making it easier for us. The boxes of breakfast cereal have given up space to the handy breakfast bars. (Best-selling breakfast bars? Did you know the consumer must be able to open the package with one hand while driving and the bar needs to be crumb-free to avoid making a mess in the car. Lots of money spent on that little bit of research and marketing.)
Pollan notes we are obsessed with cooking and thanks to the food industry we have become masters of over complicating the simple art of preparing food. No wonder we think we don’t have enough time. Too bad people don’t spend time cooking rather than watching cooking shows and admiring chefs in the media. How many of them sit there viewing a learn-to-cook-better show while eating their take-out pizza?
In 2014 the Brazilian Ministry of Health did something pretty radical: They created a food guide that actually reflects healthy eating habits. Brazil’s Food Guidelines are a lesson for us all. Check Dietary Guidelines for the Brazilian Population 2014 Rather than dividing foods into subgroups in the typical Western manner — carbs, protein, fruits and veggies — and recommending a number of servings to consume each day, Brazil’s guide breaks down foods in a much more natural way. Their four food categories are:
- naturally or minimally processed foods;
- oils, fats, salt and sugar;
- processed foods (these include bread, cheeses, cured meats and pickles); and
- ultra-processed foods
Here are 4 of the suggestions in the Guidelines:
- Avoid consumption of ultra processed foods
- Shop in places that offer a variety of natural or minimally processed foods
- Develop, exercise and share cooking skills.
- Make natural or minimally processed foods the basis of your diet and when you do this, there is no place for ‘fast food’.
As Pollan would say ‘Start cooking’. To help you out enjoy watching his video How Cooking Can Change Your Life.
When we prepare meals at home, we keep our cultural practices alive and pass on those traditions to our children, teaching them valuable lessons about family, nutrition, and general wellness in a memorable and enjoyable way.
Source: Michael Pollan ‘Food Rules’ Pollan has videos and recommends cookbooks to help you ‘Start Cooking’.
PS: ‘Don’t buy food where you buy gasoline’.
Thanks for reading, Would love to hear your tips and tricks for making home cooking easy. How about sharing an easy dinner idea?