Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tasty Tuesday:A Lost Skill?

I interrupt today's usual Tasty Tuesday's recipe this week to focus on a truly important skill that many people are lacking today. A skill that can cut through our obesity epidemic in America, a skill that will bring more whole foods into our diets, a skill that will help you save money. The skill that I'm talking about is: cooking.

Over the weekend I read this article about a guy that took the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program)challenge and he wrote an article about his experience and how he made it through the month. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/took-challenge-where-could-only-170000173.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=ma

As I read through his article and related to some of the things he adopted while completing the challenge--like bringing my own food to events or outings. As I became drawn into his story, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with lots of things he wrote about, like: some of the rules of the challenge, food deserts, the high cost of fast food & processed foods, and the cost effectiveness of cooking at home.

I personally thought he gave a wonderfully written perspective of his experience on the challenge.

What I wasn't prepared for were the many comments expressing that the writer of the article was thumbing his nose at the poor. Granted, if you just read the title of the article and looked at the photos in the article, then maybe I could understand those commenters that felt he was condescending, but instead I saw so many comments that just seemed to be filled with excuses.

Many commenters highlighted that many people don't have time to prepare a home cooked meal because they work long hours or work two jobs.

 I get that, really, I do. However, if a person can binge watch a TV series, then they have enough time to make and prepare meals for the week. They have enough time to make a big batch of broth, soups, or spaghetti sauce. These things are not hard and can be done on a person's day off or over the weekend.

If you can't cook, then learn. With all of these cooking shows, cooking websites and the many recipe books out in the world, there should be no excuse for not being able to prepare something at home.

If you're a busy parent, I highly recommend that you dedicate some time to preparing meals with your children because it's a wonderful way to spend time together, and it's a skill that they definitely will need in life. As parents our job is to help get our children to the next level....not just buying them toys and expensive crap to make them happy.

I am delighted that our First Lady had a garden put in on the White House lawn because seriously many young Americans don't know where their food comes from, and many more don't realize how to seasonally shop for fruits and vegetables to keep their food cost low. I appreciate Mrs. Obama's effort to spotlight growing your own--another way to cut your grocery bill in half, and you don't need a yard to grow food either. If you have some buckets, milk cartons or any kind of container with drainage, some dirt/compost and sunlight then you can grow your own. If you have an absolute black thumb then support your local farmers market....please...and then go home and cook a great meal.

Anyway back on the subject, I'm delighted that Mrs. Obama has put a spotlight on healthy eating; however, as a nation we seriously might need to consider bringing back Home Economics in our schools.  Home Ec. taught me how to shop for groceries, nutrition, how to set a table, how to cook several meals from scratch and kitchen safety. Like I said earlier, these are skills that will be needed as children get older. I would prefer that parents would make the time to teach these skills to their children, but I have no problem with the school teaching this much needed skill set to our children.

Yes, there are people that live in food deserts that lack affordable healthy options for grocery shopping, and there are transportation issues for some, and as a nation we should be bringing these issues to the forefront. However, I can honestly say, we are a nation filled with a lot of non cooking people, a malnourished nation, an obese nation that has lost or refused to cook for themselves and it really showed through the many commenters of that article. Because of this lost skill we are slowly watching a generation of children and adults become sicker because of the so called convenience factor.

What do you think, is cooking becoming a lost skill and please feel free to comment on the SNAP challenge article.


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