Friday, February 26, 2010

Soapbox, please

As you've probably heard, there's been a lot of buzz about obesity and all of its ramifications. It seems like finally more and more people are calling for changes to be made. I've read countless articles and posts calling for improvements to school lunches. Local governments have mandated better nutrition labeling. And people are taking a hard look at food nutrients, including sugar, trans fats, and now sodium.

Despite all of this talk, it seems that there's still a lot more to be said. Recently Jamie Oliver caught my attention. He got me thinking about why things are the way that they are. Sure, it's easy to blame the government for their poor choices. Officials have made bad decisions regarding food labeling, nutrition guidelines, and catering to food lobbyists. Another major factor, however, is the fact that our culture has changed. People don't cook anymore. And since people don't cook, they also don't learn to cook.

I've been thinking about this a lot in the last week. The fact is that I cook, and I love to cook. But the only reason I know how to cook was because I learned from my grandmother. I consider myself lucky because although my mom was a great cook, very little cooking every happened at my house. We were simply too busy. I can appreciate that the challenge of cooking at home is even worse for most families today.

Take a look at this video and you may be as shocked as I was at what you see. Jump to about 10 minutes in to see the part that's the most startling. Clearly the problem is bigger than just knowing how to cook. It seems that our children don't really even know what food is. Not even the basics. How can you cook or make sense of food labels if you don't even know what food is?

So I decided to do something about this. Stay tuned and I'll tell you more soon.

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