When I get together with other people who really love food, our discussion usually comes around to the declining state of affairs that is the standard American diet (commonly referred to as the SAD diet). The giants of the food industry in America have trained us well to accept mediocrity in the foods we consume. Many Americans have swapped quality for convenience. Boxed mac and cheese IS easier than making it from scratch, but it tastes nothing like what the original dish was meant to taste like. “Instant” pudding IS easier (and cheaper) than making it from scratch, but if you’ve ever had real, homemade butterscotch pudding you’ll never want the boxed stuff again. The really tragic thing about all of this “convenience” is the legacy we are leaving for our children. Cheap, pre-made, pre-boxed, pre-frozen meals are a wasteland of taste and nutrition, yet this is what many families put on the table.
It’s time that we get back to resourcing what we value, and food needs to be high on the list of priorities. New figures on the American Heart Association website show that one in three children (33.3%), ages 2 thru 19, are either overweight or obese. As a whole, the population of America is around 311 million. The total number of people who are obese or overweight in America is around 150 million. That means nearly half of all Americans are overweight/obese. Half. Half is a very big number. For the first time in history, this generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.
Our children emulate our behavior. We owe it to our children to set a good example around the dinner table.