The Freezer Case.... - Penny Lane Blog at Allrecipes.com - 168754

Penny Lane

The Freezer Case.... 
 
Apr. 9, 2010 2:27 am 
Updated: Dec. 1, 2010 7:48 am
Nobody really cooks anymore.
(Except those AR addicts of course)

A couple of months ago my son, now in his 30's, married with a family told me about a conversation he had as he sat at a conference table with 12  or so execs....they were eating lunch.  A nutritious lunch prepared by the Corporate Chef.  For most of these gentlemen this would be the most nurishing meal of the day.  A conversation arose about meals and dinners ..when asked, it seems that my son was one of the few who's wives cooked any more.  No, their wives ordered out...they didn't arrive home to a home cooked meal.  No crockpots full of stew or soup.  No, fresh vegetables growing in the garden....hmmmm...this got me thinking.

When I was a young mother., oh so many years ago.....there were freezer cases full of juices and frozen vegetables. Wow, these were great...an extravagance but so very convenient. TV dinners were pretty bad...a few to choose from but not many and they weren't very tasty. But such a novelty! Oh how times have changed!

When we moved to our neighborhood 7 years ago the nearest market was miles away in any direction. Nobody came home with an empty tank of gas and I shopped carefully and throughly ...there was no “run to the market for one item”

Now we have Von's, Ralph's and Albertson's all around the corner and within a couple of miles of one another.

Today, I went to my local supermarket, one of the three major chains in my small community. I needed mangos. There were no fresh Mangos....jarred, nope....canned...nope,  so I headed to the freezer section to see if there were frozen Mangos. What I found astonished me. This store has numerous aisles of frozen foods....could I find the fruit? Could I find the vegetables?  Barely...it was a hunt.

Let me tell you what I found. Six rows of freezer cases with 19 doors per side = 114 doors plus the end caps. (Yes, I counted!)

5 End Caps (14 doors total )= all frozen pizza and ice cream. One did also include frozen corn dogs.

14 doors = Ice Cream bars and Ice Cream Snacks
19 doors = Ice Cream and pies
3 doors = Cool Whip and pie crusts & frozen fruit
19 doors = TV Dinners
19 doors = TV Dinners (no this is not a repeat)
19 doors = Snacks and Pizza
5 doors Frozen Potatoes
6 doors = Chicken Nuggets & Ethnic and Specialty items (Lumpia, egg rolls etc...)
8 doors Frozen Vegetables ( Many of which come with sauces etc...)
2 doors = juice

So even if you consider the 2 doors of juice & the 8 doors of vegetables many packed with butter and cheese and preservatives “nutritious” that still leaves a whole lot of frozen “convenience” foods. All laden with fat, sodium and preservatives.
 
This is what America is eating!
 
Is there no wonder that obesity is at an all time high?
Is there no wonder that this generation will be the first to not exceed the life expectancy of their parents? 
Is there no wonder that young parents can't afford to feed their families...if this is what they consider "food". 
 
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%. This from the CDC website. If you want to read more.... http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/obesity/  <

For $3.50 you can buy 1 portion controlled, "Diet" (no names here) sodium & preservative laden frozen meal. For that $3.50 you will get about 10 oz total food.....this includes the rice or pasta, sauce, fish or chicken and a healthy dose of sodium to go with it. Now, I ask you ….. do you weigh your food? I don't. But I do know that 10 oz of food isn't going to go far with my husband or with me for that matter. 10 oz is supposed to be a whole meal? I don't think so! 

I maintain that you can cook healthy food much cheaper than buying the frozen dinners. With a little planning and smart shopping you can avoid ever visiting the dreaded frozen food cases again...unless it is for frozen vegetables of course.

 
It takes a little planning...

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts are on sale this week for $1.87 a pound. I bought 4 half breasts for just under $4. so let us say that is $1. a piece. One breast, pounded thin will feed 2 of us for a buck, add rice (cheap) an in season vegetable, let us say Asparagus (1 lb @ .99) and  and a salad, you have dinner for two for under $3.00.

That same chicken....diced and stir fried with vegetables and rice makes dinner for two for under $3.00 add another chicken breast a few more veggies and cook 2 cups of rice and you have dinner and lunch for two people for under $5.00. Fast food cannot compete! And this is healthy food too.

Where as restaurant portions have grown to amazing proportions. (A blog subject for another time) Portion control is where Lean Cuisine etc get us....they give us less and charge us more for having measured our food for us and added junk to it that we don't need. Outrageous!  Since when can we, as adults, not measure our own portions and read labels? 

Look at fresh fish ….it is pricey per pound. But if you consider that there is no waste and you would spend $5.00 for a 12 inch sub at Subway and there are at least two of you eating, that is at least $10....why not spend $5.00 - $7.00 on fish and cook it yourself. It only takes 10 -12 minutes in a 400 degree oven. How easy is that? Quicker than sitting in line at a drive through for a burger that is worth 500 calories plus the fries!

The next time you are at the grocery store....take a look around. Look at the food, even the produce section includes “fast food”...cut apples, bagged salad and "baby" carrots...look at the prices...look at the portions and look at the person in front of you and behind you.

Are they over weight? (Can you tell why by looking at their cart?)

What do they have in their baskets? (Chips, sodas, frozen junk, ice cream?)  For the amount of ice cream in those cases I suspect the stores must sell a LOT of ice cream.

What can you do for yourself and your family?
 
Yes, it does take a plan and thought...but you can do this for yourself....for your family.
 
By request:  Fresh Broccoli Salad


Caprese Salad - the grandkids favorite snack.
X
Photo Detail
Broccoli Salad with Red Onions - fresh and easy to make.
X
Photo Detail
Avocados for Guacamole
X
Photo Detail
Guacamole - Perfect with Texas Egg Rolls
X
Photo Detail
 
Vegetables - fresh and tasty.
X
Photo Detail
Grand daughter Alexis with her loaf of bread.
X
Photo Detail
 
Comments
Apr. 9, 2010 2:46 am
BN: For the life of me, I cannot figure out why so many Americans think that junk is actually food. Amen!
 
sueb 
Apr. 9, 2010 2:53 am
As I read this, I thought, "Let's start a homemade crusade!" I agree, people need to realize that what is marketed as "food", usually consists of preservative laden junk! If they don't want to be pawns of the fast food chain, we might have a next generation of folks wanting REAL food!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 3:00 am
Amen..sueb! My grand kids are considered "odd" because they LOVE tomatoes! They eat them right and left off the vine....fresh cheese...gone in a moment. If there is one thing I will pass on to my kids and now grand children is the love of fresh food.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 3:26 am
When I went to look up nutritional info for different products I saw in the Freezer Case,,,many came back to ConAgra and guess what...No nutritional info available...or website under construction....hmmm.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 3:41 am
This is so true! I live in Norway, and we're slowly getting more and more "americanized", if such a word exists. The freezer section is being filled up with ready-made meals, not all of the healthy kind. There's nothing wrong with taking the easy way out, just not everyday. I think we are the country in Europe eating most frozen pizzas, and the most sold one is quite awful, to be frank. So it's beyond me how people can eat this on a daily basis, as some do. The problem over here is the prices, healthy food is a lot more expensive than junk-food, unfortunately. But that seems to be the case world wide, food that's bad for you should be more expensive than healthier food. It would save lives and give better health to people all over. I'm so with Jamie Oliver, and his food revolution, we can only hope he can manage to teach younger people of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and better eating habits;)
 
Apr. 9, 2010 3:56 am
Healthy does not mean expensive....it means planning and shopping sales.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 3:59 am
I worked in grocery stores my whole adult life and believe me I've seen it all.Talk about being on a diet and there would be buggys full of junk.Blows my mind.Even with all the convenience of the quick food I took my lunch 90 percent of the time and if I didn't I would buy fruit,yogurt and veggies.All I'd here is "why are you eating like that your so skinny"that's why because I eat healthy and take care of myself.Great blog.
 
BRENDA 
Apr. 9, 2010 4:05 am
You're on to something BN. We need to get our kids & grandkids in the kitchen...NOW. They're only doing what they know. I've always liked to cook , and my 32 year old son likes too cook. My husband would fall of his chair if I tried to serve hime a frozen meal. We need to start sueb's "crusade" and teach them the benefits ( not to mention the great taste) of real food! They don't know what they're missing.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 4:08 am
Amen Brenda!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 4:13 am
georgi porgi....you must have seen it all working in grocery. Sigh...I rarely go to the frozen section....today it really got me. Everywhere JUNK....tons and tons of JUNK. Sigh....
 
Apr. 9, 2010 4:25 am
Hmm, maybe it's just my country, then. Healthy is more expensive, by far. A chocolate bar is cheaper than a carrot. Food markets never have sales, unless the food is way past it's expiry date. Meat is very expensive. I know our wages are high, but the cost of living is high as well. For example; 2lb of frozen chicken breasts can be found cheap for $12, but not everywhere. Fruit and vegetables are quite expensive as well. I manage to plan ahead, but it's not an easy task;)
 
Apr. 9, 2010 5:01 am
BN, I have to tell you, Girl, you've won the prize for telling it like it is. We take so much about what is served to our kids in school, the preservatives in our food, the stuff they spray all over fruits and veggies to prolong shelf life, the stuff they put on the produce in the field and into beef and chicken, to increase yield, and on and on... A longgg time ago I would lovingly tease my mom about being the "nutrition expert" in the family. Back then she wasn't confronted on every aspect of what was healthy and what wasn't. What we sat down to at the table, 90% of it was homegrown so we knew what was in it and where it came from. I've stopped going to one grocery store simply because they cater to the young soccer moms on the go, here there and the gym and the this that and the other. Yes, it's a fast paced life but sooner or later, we'll all pay including our kids with not only what they're being fed but what they're being taught. Love you BN. Fantastic blog and I see a storm a brewing!!! Thank you.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 5:15 am
I'm so with Jamie Oliver. I cook in a school kitchen. It's my first year and since the beginning I have been trying to change the menu to something more healthy. At every turn I was told no they won't eat it or it cost to much money. It really gets my goat. We serve a lot of the same thing the you saw on Jamie's show. It's getting towards the end of the year and a few things have changed, but not enough. I will not give up. Mag
 
Maggi 
Apr. 9, 2010 5:27 am
Wow, Nana! I entered this blog expecting a funny home freezer story. This was not a home story and it was not funny at all. It is however, interesting, enlightening and disgusting. The only time I shop the frozen aisles is when I need veges. I know I have to pass a lot of unhealthy stuff but never bothered to count the doors. When are Americans going to wake up? I appreciate you taking the time to put this observation on our plates!!! Thank you so much. Maggi
 
Apr. 9, 2010 5:48 am
I totally agree with you Nana. I'm proud to make things from scratch for my family and hope that my efforts will be rewarding for them (with good health) in the future. I would like to comment tho that healthy food can be very expensive especially for the low income. I volunteer at a food bank and could never understand the weight issues of the patrons. But when you look at what they can afford and have been taught to make, it all comes down to the convenience foods full of additives and preservatives. It really is sad.
 
SB 
Apr. 9, 2010 5:54 am
Hey Nana, I just wanted to tell you how true this is. I remember when I was growing up (not to long ago) my mother was a stay at home mom, we lived on a small farm where she grew and canned all our veggies and made jams out of berries and apples...etc. We also didnt buy meat from the grocery store very often, my father hunted and we had chickens and pigs, what he couldnt hunt or raise the neighbors did they raised cows and we bought meat from them. There were not many trips to town. We were seldom bord, my mother ALWAYS had a fresh meal, dessert or snack for us. I didnt even know what a mc donalds or other fast food chain was until we moved to the cities when I was in 4th grade and my world changed. My mother had to work and we ate out a lot. My parents got divored and it got even harder for her to cook a meal and try to raise my sister and I by herself. I try to cook my kids meals every night, going out is a "special thing" I dont want them to take it for granted and most of it is unhealthy. It is much healthier to make home cooked meals, even though it is more time consuming. The nights I have school I make something extra for the next day that my husband can heat up. Anyhow, my rant is done now...lol and thanks for sharing this great story!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 6:16 am
I whole heartedly agree - although I didn't notice one thing in your observation of the grocery store - what about all that hideously bad for you "snack" foods at the checkout line, eye level for children to see. Whats wrong with bins of fruit? Sure everyone wants chocolate from time to time, but really people! Great blog - thanks for sharing!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:12 am
I cannot tell you how many times I've gone to the grocery store, list in hand, and come home without even the most basic things. Fresh ginger, zucchini, CUCUMBERS--I even had a recipe that called for frozen spinach and there was none to be found without sauce, and no fresh spinach in the produce section. Mind you, I don't live in a rural area, I'm 10 minutes from Phoenix and there are 250,000 people in our little suburb alone. What's wrong with our country that frozen junk is becoming the only thing available? Thank you for your post, and I agree, HOMEMADE CRUSADE!!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:17 am
Thank you all for the kind words. Aimee....oh, I didn't even get to the the check out aisle let alone the cold cereal aisle....this needed to be a blog, not War and Peace!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:20 am
I've never commented on a blog but I just read two of yours (this and the Pickys) and they're good stuff. I LOVE fast food and frozen (can you say pizza rolls?) but try so hard to avoid both because I know thy're horrible for me. I see the frozen dinner section as a stroll through a pictoral cookbook. I don't buy, I just get inspired to recreate. My grocer does not carry my fav candy bar so that helps me get through the checkout unscathed. And what's up with the free cookies for kids? I heard as a child that the large chain vented the bakery into the entryway to entice people to the bakery and ice cream shop they had.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:33 am
i hope this does not come across as judgemental...it takes a lot of effort and a little skill to be a homemaker. my mother and grandmother are both proof that you can be a working mom and a homemaker at the same time. i think a lot of it has to do with how you were raised. on the weekends my sis and i had huge chore lists. this freed up mom's time to get a head start on many of the weekday meals, which we helped out with. compare that w/ my 2 stepsisters. i love them dearly but they had everything done for them. now they are picky eaters and dont know how to cook. i come from a long line of cooking mom's so even as a child i grew up knowing how to feed a family. i even ate better meals than some of my peers who had stay at home moms. sure every now and then it is ok to use "convenience items". i am surprised how many people rely on these as their daily menu. my SIL's jaw dropped when i told her how much i spend on groceries a week. well, i am not surprised when i see her pantry and freezer. junk food and convenience items. portion out roasts and freeze for future meals, make soup and bread for dinner more, DONT BUY SNACKS OR SODA, use your slow cooker, garden in the summer, learn how to make your own bread dough and pasta dough and freeze, minimize your meat portions(1 lb of meat/person, really?). none of these things take all that much time but you do have to plan ahead and actually do them. i was lucky enough to be raised thinking that was just how stuff was done. oh, yeah make your own popcorn and drink 8 glasses of water a day. try it. it is hard to want junk when your tummy is full :) oh, i should add that my grocery list is hardly perfect. it is something i try to improve every week. i am working on getting more fruit in our diet right now. i think that is another trick. dont try to drastically change your eating habits all at once or people will complain...
 
MK! 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:58 am
Great blog Baking Nana!! This really hits home with me, as I am one who grew up eating homemade food every day (except on special occassions) I really hope that things can change soon - more people cooking at home and eating less proccessed stuff.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 8:01 am
Hooray for BN ... BN for President! Thank you, thank you, thank you. At last someone else to say what I've been thinking. I won't mention the prices here, but the principle is the same. And I am a tiny voice, lost in the roar of the hurricane. But suddenly, a whole host of us all in harmony. YAY!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 8:42 am
Great blog BN! Those of us who still cook for our families are becoming a dying breed! I agree that eating healthy need not cost more, it just takes a bit of planning! My kids are 12 and 14 and have tried just about every food..unlike some of their friends who think "homecooked" is frozen chicken fingers and fries! What a shame....
 
Apr. 9, 2010 9:03 am
Oh my..I agree wholeheartedly. My husband is always very vocal with his friends that I have always made a homecooked meal for him, even when I was working full time. He just can't understand that these other wives don't cook. When I was working and would bring something to eat people would ask "wow, what's that?" and I would reply "leftovers". Imagine being impressed with leftovers!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 9:26 am
Thanks for all your kind comments...until there is a "revolution" our stores will continue to fill up with the processed, sodium laden junk. How will our youth know the difference if they have grown up eating processed junk? I know children as young as 10 with high blood pressure and are type 2 diabetics. Yet they still want and get a 21 piece chicken nugget "meal" from McDonalds as a "reward". Sad, sad, sad.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 9:29 am
Mi$$drea: you are so right....it takes effort and planning and training to cook from scratch. It will be a loosing battle for our children if Mom and Dad don't know how to cook a healthy meal. Dinner should not come out of a box!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:09 am
It's the one part of the grocery store I skip, almost completely! The only frozen products I buy, are frozen pastas, spinach and the occasional ice cream :) Fascinating research!!!
 
weeble 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:09 am
you should hook up with Jamie Oliver! Excellent blog!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:10 am
Kathleen: I almost got lost looking for Mangos!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:11 am
weeble: I haven't seen Jamie Oliver's show. I should tune in....
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:12 am
You know Nana, as we get older we tend to long for the good old days even though we know that change is inevitable. I really hope that the trend in fast/cheap/junk food goes back to the "old days" or I'm really scared whats going to happen to us. As third world countries adopt our style of eating they are getting fatter and unhealthier, just like us. Something has to give.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:33 am
Oh my gosh, I couldn't agree with you more Baking Nana! I have been trying to save money (and my sanity!!!) by going to the store only once every 2 weeks, so I thought I would try frozen veggies instead of fresh, and I stood in the frozen section for 20 minutes looking for corn, broccoli, ANYTHING that didn't have butter, or cheese already all over it! INSANE! I also always notice what others around me buy. The couple in front of me Monday had 8 (YES EIGHT) containers of various ice cream products! What are we teaching our children!?!? I am by no means a health nut, but I don't eat fried food, and I try to keep our meals balances and portions the right size. I am in shock at what I see around me!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:38 am
This has been a point of contention with me for many years!! Thanks for saying exactly what I've been thinking!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:40 am
You hit on something when you said healthy does not mean expensive....it means planning and shopping sales, BN! That takes time, and time equals money, so to some ways of thinking, that is where the expense comes in, especially for families who are strapped for time. I think we are a casualty of ever more fast paced lives. Everything now is geared toward what is quick and convenient. We're so busy, we're on auto pilot and just absorbing what we are being 'fed' by mass convenience food producers (who stand to make BIG money off of us). The message is subliminal and very powerful. They market the products in such a was as we start to believe we really do need them. I am so thankful that I am able to be a full time homemaker/Mom as it allows me to spend alot of time planning, shopping and cooking for my family, which is my priority. My kids have adopted a saying regarding convenience/fast food "it's (oops!)that rots your body!" My daughter's drink of choice, no kidding, is still milk (at 12)! It can be done, but it takes a certain amount of time and energy to gear your family that way, and I know it would add a huge amount of stress to my life if I was working as well as looking after my family the way I do. I really believe the fast food companies are buying into that, too. Sad. BTW, look for this blog to become a bit of a 'runaway train' like Eake's did!!
 
Shirley 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:44 am
I could not agree with you more. A couple of weeks ago we were very busy and grab fast food almost every night at the end of the week my 12 year old daughter said to me Mom we have eaten out too much. I said I know we are not going anywhere tonight so I am cooking dinner and she said "good I really need some good food". To me this was the best praise any Mother could ask for. Oh by the way we all the time have her friends over and instead of buying pizza we make homemade pizza which they love. I love to cook and I hope I am passing this on to my daughter.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 11:08 am
Excellent blog BN. Everyone on this page obviously feels the same way so I'm not going to beat a dead horse and say the same thing. But, I will say, like Shirley above me, I've had my kids say that they look forward to me cooking a home cooked meal and getting back to our real way of eating, when we've been on the road or at the mercy of restaurant meals for a few nights in a row. It does get real old real fast. I have exactly two things in my freezer right now, strictly for convenience, a box of taquitos (chicken), and what's left of a bag of bean and cheese burritos. These have been here since probably before Christmas. The rest of everything is real food. Sign me up SueB, I'm on board.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 11:15 am
Ok, I'm single so I guess that "unqualifies" me but why do parents give kids McDonalds Happy Meals, junk and sugar as a "reward"? Isn't that setting them up for a lifetime of bad eating habits and obesity?
 
Apr. 9, 2010 11:22 am
Exactly Dave! CC - How sad that we have been lead to believe that faster is better. That quick & easy equals good. Imagine not knowing what "real" food is. Yes, we are all busy, too busy. The same people who are too busy to shop and cook most certainly have time for their manicures etc... We make time for things that are important to us. Obvioiusly quality food & nutrition isn't a priority for most people. It is time for a revolution.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 11:32 am
i make it a game. i purchase staples and then try to make either family favorites or something i believe they will like. i make too much so that left-overs will be welcomed. i try and use fresh veggies and herbs as much as possible. i love the summer. i use all the sun in my yard for fresh herbs. such a taste difference.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 12:05 pm
Well said Baking Nana. Sadly, many of the family's of my kids (now aged 20-30) ate alot of pre-packaged, or fast food. Now, these kids don't know how to cook. I have always cooked. My kids were the "weird" kids who came home to a meal and didn't have a "discussion" about which restaurant they would visit. They appreciate it now. Not so much then. Our town boasts the most restaurants, per capita in the US, weird fact. I don't shop the snack, cereal nor freezer aisles. The only time I'm found in the cereal aisle is if I need oatmeal. Freezer aisles, frozen veggies. We don't need ice cream. I make a sherbet thing out of jello and cream cheese and bake entirely too much, LOL!! Great blog!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 2:46 pm
Your timing is spot on. You described my grocery store to a "T," except I can, and do, buy fresh mango 2/$4 or fresh spinach 10oz/$2. I was just looking over the weekly circular of specials while making my grocery list and commented to my SIL there is very little real food at a reasonable price. In an effort to balance the budget our governor has proposed a tax on sugary drinks. His logic being it will raise money in the short term and as people realize how much it costs decrease their purchase, thereby making a step toward better health. You wouldn't believe the furor! What really gets to me is my grandchildren are eating that junk even though their mother allegedly "cooks" every night. My son was NOT raised that way, but she has never taken my advice and likely never will. My one hope is that once they are old enough, they will be allowed to come stay with me on vacations and learn real food and how to prepare it.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 3:27 pm
Great blog, Nana! As you probably know, I have just recently started making everything from scratch -- well not yet butter/milk or growing my own veggies, but the stuff you make with them -- Mainly to accommodate my necessary Gluten-Free eating habits, but also to cut down the grocery budget and our unnecessary chemical consumption. Ice-cream-without-an-ice-cream-machine has been added recently to my repertoire. It was very sweet so I can't wait to ditch the sugar next time, and try to cut down on the fat content. I was thrilled! I saved $1 on ice-cream. Although he admits that it was good, Hubby is not quite willing to give up the storebought stuff until I can make a "substitute" that is "edible" and save more than $3/$4 per carton ("cheap" ice-cream is $6CDN but the "really good" stuff is $8CDN.) So it's back to the "lab" this weekend for ice-cream! One thing that Hubby really mourned was the fact that I refuse to buy Stouffer's Hungry Man Dinners any more. When I pointed out that the 1 lb Salisbury Steak was his favourite and costs $5 CDN, I stated with a confidence I did not feel, "It's hamburger in a chemical gravy! I can cook you a hamburger with a mushroom sauce that will knock your socks off! You feed me the cranberry dessert, so I don't have to make that .. and, for the veggies, we have frozen veggies!" In less than half-an-hour, I had not 1, but 4 extra-lean 1/4 lb hamburger patties (pure -- no additives) with the sauce made with an almond milk/beef stock gravy thickened with tapioca flour with mushrooms sauteed in a little bit of olive oil. I actually shelled peas and ran carrots through the food processor, stirred them together in a microwavable dish and nuked them to death for 10 minutes (will do them less next time). Et voila! A dinner for four for less than $10/$2.50 per person. A lot cheaper than $5 for one stupid dinner full of calories, additives, chemicals and artery-clogging tastebud pleasers -- especially when you add in the healthcare for heart disease. HUH! I was proud as I placed the meal in front of him and got prouder when the skeptical look changed to surprise and absolute delight! "Okay ... You win! This is much better than Stouffer's, but what if you want a night off?" "We'll negotiate." The next time he whined for Hungry Man, I simply dragged the leftovers out of the freezer and was thrilled to be able to just toss them in the microwave. They were almost better second-time round! :D One night, we negotiated and Chinese Food from the best place in town won out. It was good (they don't add MSG or salt), but I kept thinking "I could do this. I really could!" By the end of the meal, it was "I am going to do this. I can make a better meal than this -- and for a whole lot less than $40!" Maybe this weekend, I will delve into chinese cooking (nothing too exotic - Chicken Almond Guy Ding, ("Faux") Fried Rice (boiled brown rice with lightly sauteed mushrooms and cooked chicken bits can't be too hard), maybe some chinese peas and I might even get brave and try a baked egg roll made with gluten-free flour -- can't wait to add a little pumpkin puree to some kind of plum sauce. *lol* I know. That's a blog waiting to be written as this is bound to be an adventure filled with excitement (some censored vocabulary) and (hopefully) joy for the tastebuds in the end. A fairytale come true for a Culinary Cinderella who is secretly (well it's not a secret any more *lol*) dreading the midnight when her magically found success in the culinary ARts turns back into AR-less rags. Thanks again, Nana! Well said!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 3:42 pm
Baking Nana, can I join the chorus here? I, too, was raised on "real" food. We lived on a farm with a big garden. Mom cooked three meals a day and so have I always, even when I worked full time. My kids were raised on home cooked food, almost no fast food or restaurant food. We couldn't afford it! Now, my daughter doesn't cook and it is the bane of my existance!! I can't stand that my grandkids are growing up on junk food! I have been living with them for the past three years and try to change things without much luck. I have had some success with the oldest but one granddaughter refuses to even try good food. I could go on and on and rant about this all night!! I will be getting a place of my own in a couple of weeks and look forward to having grandchildren for overnights and cooking together with them. Maybe if I teach them to cook, they will learn to enjoy it. I can only try!!! Ginny
 
Amber 
Apr. 9, 2010 5:23 pm
Hey Nana, I've missed your wonderful words. I totally agree that we need to do these things for our families and ourselves. I feel so much more confident sending my beau off to work with home made lunches, his co workers express envy every time I see them. I'm so thankful there is a community like this that celebrates food as it should be.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 5:51 pm
Sparkytoo: I admire your determination to make everything from scratch but I do know that a gluten free diet really mandates that you do so. BigShotsMom & Ginny: Hopefully you will be able to pass on to your grandkids the love of cooking. My grandkids love to come and cook & garden with me. They are so proud they are of their creations. I know that posting this blog here is a bit like preaching to the choir. I appreciate everyone's support.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 6:04 pm
Amen Amber! You are fortunate that your beau appreciates your efforts and cooking.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 6:26 pm
Neat story. I was telling my eldest daughter about my blog. She has 6 kids 16 - 5 years old. She cooks everyday and often at dinner time there is an extra teenager or two around. One of the boys that often appears around their dinner table brought her a cook book. He said, "Michelle, this isn't new but my Mom never cooks so I thought I would give it to you. I know you will use it." This from a kid that has been raised on fast food. Don't tell me that kids don't appreciate "real" food.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:00 pm
I've noticed the same things, it's funny and sad at the same time. A couple tips I've learned*thanks to Grandpa*: have a list and follow it when you're shopping, don't go when you're hungry, and familiarize yourself with the weekly ad in the newspaper to get an idea of what's actually a deal! One of my neighbors lives on Schwann's food. My previous neighbor had a little girl, didn't cook or even keep fresh food in the house. They ate at a local restaurant and McDonald's every day of the week for every single meal. The neighbor before that lived on frozen chicken and potato products (so did her son!). I feel lucky to have grown up with parents and grandparents that didn't ride the American wave of convenience foods! If they had, I'd be Angela the Hutt! The thing that upsets me the most about all of it is that children are the victims. Who cares if adults want to treat themselves that way, but to instill it in their children? Learning to grow your own foods and create meals from fresh food is exciting as a child, but if you're not related to someone that does it you're out of luck because you know the school system isn't going to step up. Just like with drinking, drugs, sex, etc. Can you imagine how much money the government would lose if children were raised to be healthy in various ways? OT I know, but that stuff gets my blood boiling! Have a lovely weekend all! lol
 
Blazer 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:09 pm
Great blog. I hope the younger generation wakes up soon. Most of there freezers are stuffed with junk. I do really feel sorry for them with all the time that has to be spent working just to make ends meet and then to come home and have to make meals is tough.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:28 pm
Great blog BN! My 19 year old son comes home for his friends' houses and says they have nothing but processed food. While we have the occasional processed/junk food items, he most often dips into the fridge for leftovers and fruit (lots of fruit that I often have to hide part of so I can get some before he eats it all) or he fixes himself a big salad. I live in a small town and we are participating in a "community garden", chipping in for seeds and plants, helping with some of the weeding and then enjoying the fruits of our labor. I can hardly wait until some of us get together for a buffet/cookout featuring fresh veggies from our garden.
 
Katie 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:36 pm
Thanks for the your blog, you really know how to support your arguments! I'm glad to see that there are people out there who are asking the same questions as I am. Did you know that this generation of children are the first EVER to be expected to die before their parents?? It's a terrifying reality, but it's relieving to see people start to realize that eating processed fatty foods every single day will kill you. Hopefully it's not too late to change this generation!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:37 pm
Magnolia, how wonderful. I love to garden and belong to a group of home gardeners. We exchange produce all the time. It is not unusal to come home and find a bag of lemons or avocados on my porch. Right now is orange season. During the summer we get together and have lunch and an exchange of goodies. None of us has huge areas to grow but we still manage to produce a lot of veggies.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:46 pm
Blazer: I still maintain that people will make time for things that are important to them. Many of the Mom's I see heading to the gym are the same ones that are driving through Carl's Jr.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:49 pm
This is a great blog, nana. I am proud to be a part of the homemade crusade! I'm not sure why people buy the frozen dinners- they're more expensive and nowhere near as tasty or healthy. I just don't see the point.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:53 pm
epicureangela, thanks for your comments. I was fortunate to grow up in a home that understood good nutrition. My older brother is a Type 1 diabetic, diagnosed when he was 4 years old, before I was born. My Mom never bought junk. She taught us all to cook, including the boys. I am forever thankful to her for teaching us right from the get go. She really was ahead of her time.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:55 pm
Me either Citrus Punch. But honestly I don't think some people know how to cook and really even where to start. The one woman who hired me to help her actually paid me to go to the store with her and help her shop. She hadn't a clue.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 7:59 pm
Katie: It is very scary to think that these children are being trained to die young. Wow! For all the effort behind the "Stop Smoking" campaigns you would think that people would jump on the Homemade Crusade....unfortunately Homemade takes effort and thought and isn't just preaching the evils of tobacco. Hmmm? Interesting.
 
Jennb 
Apr. 9, 2010 8:17 pm
I really did like your blog, but I think some of your comments are overly harsh. "Look in the grocery line in front of you, are they obese?" Being overweight is one of the few things left that is considered okay to poke fun at. I, myself, take great measure to be healthy, and am thin because of it, but I crave sweets and pasta every day of my life. Most of my family is overweight, but it isn't because they shop in the frozen section. I think you make yourself seem like a snob who thinks being overweight makes you less of a person.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 8:33 pm
I think you are wrong in assuming that she is attacking people simply for being overweight.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 8:45 pm
Jennb....I am not attacking anyone. My husband is over weight...it isn't because of my cooking either. He knows his down falls and the biggest one is lack of exercise because of a serious knee injury. He used to play professional basketball, ran his tail off and could eat anything he liked...not now. That said, when I see an over weight child with his over weight mother, munching on chips to keep him quiet, while she loads the cart with more junk....hmmm..yes I do make a judgement call. Don't we ask our children to make good choices everyday? Choose good friends, choose to not do drugs, choose to not smoke. Don't tell me that we shouldn't tell them to choose good food or be fat and die young.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 8:50 pm
By the way there is a direct correlation between obesity and heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke. There is a direct correlation between sodium and high blood pressure and heart disease. So, no I am not being snobby....I am stating a fact.
 
Apr. 9, 2010 9:27 pm
baking nana is NOT a snob. you better recognize!!!!
 
Apr. 9, 2010 9:30 pm
BTW, my mom's BFF calls it "eating out of an envelope"
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:31 pm
Yep, that about sums it up. Have you ever been starving and stopped to grab a quick bite - devoured it and then thought, "That tasted like cardboard. What a waste of calories that was."
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:39 pm
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%. This from the CDC website. If you want to read more.... http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/obesity/
 
Apr. 9, 2010 10:45 pm
Children don't get a choice .... they take what they are given. All I am saying is that the stores will stock what sells best...if the fresh food was marching out the door and the junk was sitting there rotting....what would they cater to. Obviously, ice cream and TV dinners do rather well, otherwise the stores would not dedicate so much space to those products. Although they make a healthy profit on the produce they make a killing on the frozen prepared food.
 
Kelly 
Apr. 10, 2010 4:41 am
Great article BN!! I am 27, work full time, and raise 2 young girls. My friends and coworkers are surprised that I cook from scratch and can my own vegetables. I garden in the summer, and my parents and husband butcher fresh pork a couple times a year. We live in a rural village that doesn't allow livestock within the village limits, so short of raising my own poultry I do most things from scratch. I was raised that way, and my kids LOVE it!! They look forward to what we have for dinner. The most prominent "junk" we buy from the freezer section is our supermarkets brand of frozen natural ice cream. People have rose to buying everything "organic" but what is more organic than I'm throwing away can be put in the compost pile. They look forward to mock apple pies, made with zucchini and homemade pickles, and absolutely beg to help me bake whenever I'm making something. I was raised this way. I dropped home ec in high school because I already knew how to cook, or thought I would learn better from my mom. Which I did. I believe we do need a Homemade Crusade, and I take it as a compliment when my family and friends call me Martha Stewart or the Paula Dean of the family. I know it can be hard and time consuming, I prepare meals ahead so my husband can heat them for the kids, but the effort reaps the reward. Sign me up for the Homemade Crusade... I want to be a charter member!! Thank You BN!!!
 
Kelly 
Apr. 10, 2010 4:47 am
OOPS this: "organic" but what is more organic than I'm throwing away can be put in the compost pile. ____ Was supposed to say: what is more organic than growing your own? My 6 year often asks me if what I'm throwing away can be put in our compost pile. ______________ Guess it got cut off. Have a great weekend!!
 
Apr. 10, 2010 4:55 am
Fabulous blog! I've thought many of these same ideas. Cook, eat local. Jamie Oliver and Michelle Obama are spreading the word. Yesterday I bought asparagus and spring onions from my nearby Mennonite farmer. They plant tomatoes in the ground in a hoop house, and will have vine-fresh tomatoes soon! My sons, in their 20s, have an interest in cooking; they do stir fries, etc, and they ask questions when they're home! They love my home cooking. I have all sorts of little meals packed in the freezer from my own cooking. Thanks for such an interesting and informative blog.
 
Apr. 10, 2010 4:57 am
Homemade Crusade! No buggies full of junk. They'll cost you lots of money, and put you in a funk.:)
 
Apr. 10, 2010 7:18 am
Kelly & Buckeye: Thanks for chiming in and joining the Homemade Crusade. The legacy of your home cooking will serve your children well for the rest of their lives.
 
katylou 
Apr. 10, 2010 7:24 am
so enjoyed your blog - we left the packaged food lifestyle in August and went all natural (not necessarily organic, but nothing processed in anyway). Besides our waistlines, the biggest change is that no one has gotten sick this year - no flu, no colds, no ear infections, no allergic reactions to pollen even, migraines are gone too! I don't know if it is from the influx of healthy nutrient rich foods or the removal of all the junk; maybe a combination of both. Our grocery bills stayed about the same as fresh produce can add up if your not careful, but gone were the impulse buys of chips and junk. But since we no didn't spend money on fast food, incessant eating out and doctor/pharmecutical bills, we saved tons this year. Thanks for this blog and keep up the real foods campaign!
 
Apr. 10, 2010 7:45 am
Katylou: Very interesting and a great testimony that avoiding processed foods and eating fresh does lead to better health. Way to go!
 
Apr. 10, 2010 8:07 am
Totally agree! Homemade with fresh is usually the cheapest and always the healthiest way to eat. What man doesn't want a home cooked meal? Well, my MIL's cooking made my hubby eat out more than once but...I guess that is why he appreciates my cooking. Not bragging, but just saying the effort I put into the meals pays off. Thanks for the great blog.
 
Apr. 10, 2010 9:29 am
Argentina: My MIL, God rest her soul, was not a very healthy cook. If it couldn't be fried chances are she didn't make it. (She died of Congestive Heart Failure and was type 2 diabetic) My husband has a real taste for fried anything. It is really hard to break old habits but it can be done.
 
Apr. 10, 2010 10:20 am
Excellent! I have bought some of that "junk", I'll admit. I'd be lying if I said I never did - but they were in the freezer for convenience sake - late night meals/snacks after a game or practices. I generally make home-cooked meals and my kids were definitely some of the few that did get "real" food to eat. Sometimes their friends would be over and sit down and not even know what was being served! They'd never seen "real" chicken or fish that didn't come breaded and frozen! My daughter once dated a boy who had never eaten a strawberry! He tried it with much coaxing but didn't like it - can you imagine that??!! His house was strictly soda, pizza, fried chicken and fries. Sad, sad, sad....
 
Apr. 10, 2010 12:14 pm
What a great blog! My husband and I are trying to eat healthier. In our grocery store, there is only one freezer door of frozen fruit and half of those shelves have frozen whipped topping on them! Very little choices. I also agree that eating healthier does not have to be more expensive. Our grocery bill has gone down since I've cut out convenience foods and added unprocessed foods to our list. I'm a teacher and see the effects of processed food on students every single day. I had one poor child who couldn't get up off of the floor by herself. If we sat on the gym floor for an assembly, I had to lift her up. What a shame for her! She has never known what it feels like to be healthy and active. I am 33 years old and can easily get up from a sitting position. An eight year old should be able to do so as well. Thanks for speaking the truth!
 
Apr. 10, 2010 1:27 pm
I am glad so many others feel as I do. My kids eat fresh veggies every chance they can and when offerd candy, they refuse it. Often getting me some strange looks, like I am a mean mom, but they just dont like it. Fresh is always best.
 
Apr. 10, 2010 1:52 pm
Our fast paced society has created this mess. I'm a full time teacher and single mother of 2 active boys. Not only do I work long hours but we have some activity from swimming to taekwondo to my meetings every weeknight. I rarely go to the freezer aisle except to buy frozen veggies for cooking casseroles and soups. I spend at least one day a month cooking to fill my freezer with all of those "fast food" items that my kids love with much less added fat, salt and preservatives. This morning I shopped for the week based on what was on sale. Great deal on whole wheat tortillas and lean ground beef so I ended up making 20 "wet tacos" and bought a 4kg box of bonesless, skinless chicken breasts on sale and will spend tomorrow morning making breaded chicken for chicken alfredo lite(with homemade sauce that I already have in the freezer) and home made chicken nuggets and might get a few batches of chicken fried rice. I'll freeze any extra meats already cooked so that they are ready to go for a quick soup or casserole. Next week I'll likely spend an hour or two doing shepherd's pie and some home made meatballs. Promised my invalid mom some homemade shepherd's pie. All in all it takes an hour or two a couple of times a month and I've got enough home made meals to get me through the hectic weeknights. It is a committment and takes organisation and some time and effort but I know that in the long run my boys benefit. They hate McDonalds, won't eat things like KFC (in their words "it's tasteless and too greasy with no chicken!") and they can actually tell when I try to sneak a side of boxed noodles and sauce by them. They are learning to appreciate the effort that I go through for them and are even starting to help out in the kitchen. I'm proud to say that my 13 year old is now in charge of stirfrys (a great quick meal,made even quicker if you plan for it and pre-slice the veggies and pre-cook the meat or tofu so you only have to assemble it on busy nights.) In any case, I'm proof that with a little organization and effort, busy families DON'T have to rely on fast food and we can actually train our children's taste buds to prefer the "real" thing.
 
socalmom 
Apr. 10, 2010 1:54 pm
Hey girl-were just a short distance away-just a jaunt down the freeway in Garden Grove. Recently retired and having a heck of a time getting a garden growing-hubby will only give me so much space! Trying containers-not much luck yet. I'll keep trying-nice to know that a kindred spirit is not that far away! Take good care!
 
Apr. 10, 2010 6:55 pm
i know what you mean! i used to even make my own puff pasrty/phyllo dough haha (i still hvnt bought any yet) :D
 
nymbus 
Apr. 10, 2010 10:24 pm
I agree with what you have here, even if I don't follow it all the time. Working full time at full tilt on a horrible schedule doesn't leave a great deal of time for cooking- (I get home at 8:15 at the earliest,) so I do end up at Subway two or three times a week. That said, I'd rather have Subway than McDonalds ANY evening. What my bf and I are very careful about is the few evenings/weekends that we have his son in our care. He is being raised by an exceptionally lazy primary parent, who uses food as a reward and way to keep him preoccupied. He is quite overweight, pretty much sedintary, and most importantly, this is the lifestyle that he is learning and will be repeating for the rest of his life. The BF and I decided when we first got togther that having dinner together as a family when we have him is paramount. We make sure to have dinner together, homemade, with at least one food that is new to the little one. So far, he's become a big fan of broccolli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, edumame, microgreens from our own garden, and garbonzo beans. EVERYTIME we've introduced him to a new food, he's complained. When I first started this house rule, he was eight and didn't know how to use a knife. He was only slightly more comfortable with a fork. He now can use both, likes trying chopsticks, and understands that elbows on the table are not ok. Still, EVERYTIME we say no to Taco Bell he complains. Hopefully our two-four nights a week are at least showing him that there IS a different way to do it...
 
Apr. 11, 2010 12:49 am
Nymbus: I applaude you for your efforts. Subway is sooo much better than McD's etc... As for his step son...all you can really do is set the right example. I have many stories to tell along those lines...maybe a subject for another blog. The fact that he like broccoli, asparagus, brussells etc is amazing. We make these "new" introductions exciting. Instead of...you won't like this but you have to eat so many bites etc....We get really excited...."Oh, these are so delicious! They are Papa's favorite. I have been waiting for you to be here to make these!" makes all the difference in the world!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 12:53 am
freezermama: Your name says it all. Thanks for your comments. You make your children's nutrition a priority....it shows. Like I said....people make time (& $$$) for the things that are important to them. Way to go!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 12:59 am
imateachr: Thanks for your imput. As mag said above..she works to change the school lunch programs...the changes are coming...slowly. I know a child a lot like the girl you mentioned. Wow...so sad. The child I know was 5 years old, and weighed more than me (135)....he is now on track and is 150 and 5' 6" & 12 years old. Huge strides...the problem is that he still LOVES fast food. he feels like he is being punished when presented with an apple and peanut butter! Poor kids...
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:02 am
socalmom - we are virtual neighbors! Keep plugging away at the garden...it doesn't happen all at once. Thanks for you imput.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:09 am
Mother Anne: We have all bought that junk....but to not love and appreciate a fresh strawberry is a crime! I cannot imagine!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:11 am
southernshoe: Your kids are the winners....strange looks don't count in the long run. WTG!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:23 am
My concern for our return to US living at the end of this year, is the very thing you mention. Before my mother passed away she asked me to shop outside her city for plain cornmeal...because the only kind available was self-rising. The stores have about nineteen varieties of potato chips, and not even the most basic staple items for cooking. I was told you have to go to specialty "cooking" stores to get real food anymore...which sounds like an automatic price hike. That same town had a farmer's market ___until a year ago. Yes, it is going to take a lot of planning.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:34 am
Hezzy - I don't know hwere you will be living coming back to the US but the Mexican markets are the way to go in So. Cal. Amzing but true!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 2:30 am
Great blog, Baking Nana! While I can't pretend to be a "homemade" fanatic, my love of chopping and stirring tends to keep me away from prepared foods. My trips down the freezer aisles are for veggies (no sauce) and ice cream (Yes, I buy ice cream. I also have an ice cream maker, but I have to admit that I don't really enjoy making it much. It's...messy). Anyway, I was recently baffled to find premade 'peanut butter and jelly sandwiches' and 'hot dogs' in the freezer section. Now, what kind of person doesn't know how to make an effing PB&J and a HOT DOG?! Can it possibly be easier and faster to buy these things frozen? Should it be? For the record, not one of the Byrds is fat. Lazy? Occassionally. Rant over. Thanks for your blog! :)
 
pattyD 
Apr. 11, 2010 4:35 am
Baking Nana you show great wisdom and I agree with you 100%. I have worked in a grocery store for the past 27 years and you can pick out who's shopping cart belongs to who. I do not use frozen meals and I never will, except for the veggies. I am blown away by the fact that so few people I work with don't cook real meals for their families. My biggest concern is those who get food stamps or ebt and the junk they pile into their carts. I feel that there are items that should be banned by welfare system, or at least a limit of junk food allowed. I'm not bashing the people who use this service, just the abuse of some of the users. I work six days a week and my hours very, but I still fix my family a good dinner every night. I know this is why all of my sons' friends hang out at our house. They have all told me that they wished that their Mom would cook like I do. That is why I keep an open door policy, no one is turned away from my dinner table.
 
Rusty 
Apr. 11, 2010 5:01 am
Great photos and advice Baking Nana. Thank you for guiding us away from true freezer burn! Now where's the recipe for Broccoli Salad with Red onions? Yum.
 
Linnie 
Apr. 11, 2010 6:19 am
I read a lot of blogs but rarely comment. Your blogs are always so spot on. I agree whole heartedly with you. I do wish I lived in a climate that was more conducive to early gardening and that we had a choice of mexican and asian markets closer to home. I'd be in heaven. I am a home canner and have a freezer full of home made meals that I give to the grandkids ( college kids) every chance I get. They are so thrilled to get 'real' food that they just heat up. I feel so good that they can eat right once in a while. You are such a great example for your family. Hope they realize how fortunate they are! Keep the wonderful blogs coming.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 6:31 am
Baking Nana - your blog came right after I saw a sad sight at the grocery store. I was in the frozen section (just passing through from dairy) and saw two different young ladies on the phone. Each of them was talking with someone about what they should get for dinner. The conversations went like this, "Yeah, or there's always pizza", and "We just had that last night." I was especially struck b y their conversation, because I had just walked away from pre-made pizza crusts. I had been decorating a special birthday cake all day, and was afraid I would run out of steam for making pizza for dinner. So, I stopped to check out the pre-made crusts. They wanted $4.69 for a pice of dough that was shelf-stable! EWWW. I went home, had a glass of wine to 'revive', and made dough from scratch.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 7:58 am
I Remember helping my mom shell peas. canning tomatoes and fruit. going to the fresh outdoor fruit stand bring back loads of corn ect. I miss those days.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 8:20 am
Oh Nana, you are so right! I just hate those freezer aisles, food, food everywhere and not a morsel fit to eat. I now do a mental exercise if I feel like picking up processed : IMAGINE all that food reduced to its ingredients: a giant pile of refined white flours, a mountain of salt, a river of high fructose corn syrup; it's enough to send me back to the produce aisle! We're eating for nutrition now, and I will buy frozen veggies WITHOUT the added sauces and stuff...gotta read every label! Thanks for the thought-provoking blog, Nana!
 
Abbey 
Apr. 11, 2010 8:47 am
Baking Nana I loved this blog, it was very informative and a little scary! Frozen TV Dinners and Ice Cream...that's pretty much what families these days have ended up at. It makes me thankful for this site and to be surrounded by these ladies who are keeping up real home-made meals for their families. DB and myself both made a New Years resolution to stop eating fast food. With a little extra work, it was not hard at all. We feel much better about ourselves, have more energy and we have a new passion of cooking meals together. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. Thanks for opening up our eyes, I look forward to more blogs from you!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 9:02 am
I absolutely love your blog. So true in many ways. People pay for convenience. I guess we are all guilty of it from time to time, but there is nothing like going to the local market and buying fresh home grown fruits and vegetables. It takes a little longer to cook it yourself bu well worth the effort. And at least YOU are in control of what is going into your food!
 
Fran 
Apr. 11, 2010 9:17 am
Oh my god I totally get what you mean Baking Nana! I went to the grocery store with my Ma(I'm 17 soo..) and we were going to the freezer aisles(it was endless by the way, I swear there were at LEAST five or six whole aisles)....it was packed like you wouldn't believe! We could hardly get through, there was so many people. I told my Ma, "hey were outta tomatoes I'm gonna go get some". And when I got to the produce area I was totally amazed...It was completely empty! It's so depressing how much fresh vegetables get unused because of the freezer aisles, it's pretty ridiculous.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 11:32 am
Great blog, I agree wholeheartedly. I often walk around the grocery store checking out other people's carts (shame on me but I can't help it!) and it's not a wonder that some of the people look like they do. And like someone else said, I can't stand when people are like "oh please, stop worrying so much about what you eat, you couldn't gain a pound." Don't they get it? That is because I actually CARE about my body and the types of food I ingest. People make me crazy.
 
Nancy 
Apr. 11, 2010 12:49 pm
Working full time the "Crock Pot" has been a good old friend to me. We are not empty nesters, and a crock full of beef stew is a dinner to die for, and luch for each of us the next day. Leave the frozen aisle to ice cream.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:21 pm
Sunny: Chopping is therapy for me, I know you understand this type of therapy! Frozen HOT DOGS and PBJ sandwiches! Really? God help us! pattyD: Working in a grocery store I am sure you have seen it all. Your sons are blessed to have a Mom who actually cooks, no wonder their friends hang out at your house!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:22 pm
Rusty: I will post the recipe for the broccoli salad. Thanks for you kind words. I should have named this blog "Freezer Burn! " Linnie: Knowing how to can real food is an amazing talent. Thanks for chiming in.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:23 pm
cooks4forty: What you witnessed in the freezer section is probably more common that I can imagine. Shelf stable cough is scary stuff! helenmay: I am sure that as you were helping your mom can and shell peas she didn't know the wonderful memories she was creating. What a great legacy.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:23 pm
msntnkrbll: Your description of the mountain of white flour with a river of high fructose corn syrup is spot on. Sadly, this is considered "real" food - the other food is "health food"! We as a society have embraced this junk.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:40 pm
Hayly Amber: I think that some people really think that we are "sacrificing" in order to eat healthy! What they don't get is that they are sacrificing their children and the their own health. Thanks for stopping by. Nancy: Slow cookers are amazing! Do you know that people pay me to make them in dinner in the crock pot? They don't have the time or inclination to cook and they don't want to eat fast food, so they pay me to do it for them.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 1:41 pm
Pyrex: I commend you for giving up the fast food trend! Good for you. SweetCravings: Paying for convenience is one thing paying for chemical laden junk, wrongly called food is so wrong. Fran: It is absolutely refreshing to hear from someone your age who really gets it! There is hope!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 2:54 pm
I can't help but laugh that as I read this blog I am eating some chips!!! BUT in my defense that is very rare. You do not find many convenience food in my home. If you want to find something to eat you need to defrost some meat and cook it! There are no corn dogs, no frozen pizzas, burrito's things like that. Every once in a while I do buy an item or 2. There is nothing wrong with an occasional exception. There is nothing better then finding the perfect recipe, shopping for just the right ingredients, the pain stacking love of preparing the dish, and the joy on your family's face when they bite into your food!! Pure heaven!!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 3:35 pm
LOL, Denise! I imagine that you about choked on your chips when you realized what this blog was about. But all is well....at least the chips were found in the freezer section! (teasing of course) I love to cook and part of that comes from getting great feed back from the people I cook for. That is rewarding. I do have a very well stocked pantry and yes it does include some canned Cream of Soups but we don't eat a steady diet of processed foods. If my husband had to fend for himself it would be the freezer section and the drive thru. Cooking brings him no joy. Thanks for stopping in. :)
 
Apr. 11, 2010 4:46 pm
OMGosh, this sounds like one of my recent trips to the store! I recently moved to this area so it's always an adventure learning just where things are at the new store. I looked for a good 15 minutes for frozen berries (I like them for smoothies). Just about gave up! I also worked as a checker at a grocery store for a short time and wow, some of the things people bought. I can't tell you how many times someone would come through my line with a totally full cart and NOTHING fresh in it. Not even any canned or frozen veggies. All pizza and candy and sugary cereal. Ugh. And yeah, even now, I do always notice what the people around me have in their carts :)
 
Apr. 11, 2010 5:45 pm
Lady Ashley: It shouldn't be hard to find plain fruit and plain veggies. I almost got lost! Year's ago( 20 or so) I took my eldest son to England for 2 weeks....my husband stayed home with our two daughters, 10 & 7. He went to the store with them and loaded up with fries, TV dinners, pizza...junk...all junk. The checker (bless her heart) asked him, "Does your wife let you buy this junk?" Stopped him dead in his tracks! His response, "She's gone for two weeks .... so I am showing my daughters what happens if you don't know how to cook." LOL...liar....he loves this cr@p! He was probably thrilled that he could eat it all in peace!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 7:16 pm
really good blog i am one of the only one of my friends that cooks every night, ( i am 27 with two young girls) they make fun of me most of the time too!! i do not cook home made meals all the time, i do have frozen chicken nuggets and fries in my freezer and pizza rolls and frozen pizzas, but i try to limit how much of them we eat. they are really expesive too. i grew up eating a lot of conveniencey foods mostly out of boxes and frozen things, so I like them, but as I get older and am making more home cooked things, I find that I think they taste like cardboard. i agree with the homemade crusade!
 
Apr. 11, 2010 8:14 pm
Amanda: Welcome to the crusade! Once you get used to thinking about home cooked meals it becomes easier. Hubby can look in the refrigerator and declare "Nothing to eat!" I look in the refrigerator and say....."Hey, look...rice, veggies ....etc...we have the makings of a stir fry" It just takes practice. Keep at it...you will rewarded ten fold!
 
ConnieM 
Apr. 11, 2010 9:15 pm
I do pick up items in the frozen aisle on occasion. Believe it or not, the kids mac and cheese and hot dogs! Well, if I were to buy hot dogs, we would eat them once, and they would either go bad or get freezer burn after that. If I made mac and cheese, I know we would eat wayyyy to much of it. We only have them when either nothing else is left in the house, or we are really short on time and energy. So I figure its okay-in moderation. That seems to be what people can't figure out how to do.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 9:32 pm
ConnieM: I absolutely agree. I have two blue boxes of mac and cheese hidden in the pantry just for those occasions! Hot dogs, we don't eat unless I splurge and get the Costco size package of Hebrew National All Beef franks or Polish dogs....still about 330 calories per dog (est) I end up "sharing" these gems with the whole family, because I really only want one. But I have to tell you.....for all the TV dinners in those cases, people are living off this stuff or they wouldn't stock them unless people were buying them. Using this logic people are buying way more TV dinners and ice cream than they are buying vegetables, fresh meat and tofu combined.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 9:38 pm
BN, You are so right! When I was younger I was able to get away w/many more food transgessions, but I'm having to be much more watchful on what & how much I eat, to keep myself healthy. I have some of the Mexican markets nearby, but they seem rather intimadating-I really don't want to go there alone & I'm not usually faint-hearted. Do love the fresh fruits & veggies from CostCo & Sam's, but they do have lots of that frozen "junk" food, too. We seldom eat out any more, but we do share a meal w/the neighbors almost every Sat-I really look forward to that. We both make part of the meal & share recipes & cooking tips.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 9:55 pm
Goodeats: Don't be afraid of the mexican markets....I am not the only one there speaking English. I don't know where you live but by us, Cardenas is by far the best, cleanest market around. I used to go their original store just for their thin cut Carne Asada. Today, they have a really nice market with a HUGE produce department. I have seen every race there, Asain, black, white and yes hispanic...I have never had a problem, if fact I have always felt welcomed. I like Costco and Sam's too...but they are limited as far as what they can carry. Example: Red Bell Peppers, last week - Albertson's $1.79 each, Sam's 6 pepper for around $6.00, the mexican market in Norco had beautiful peppers for .99 a pound! We also do the weekly dinner with friends....it is the highlight of the week.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 9:59 pm
Goodeats: I just saw that you are in Riverside! We are neighbors! Go to the Cardenas on Van Buren. No problem there...also check the Farmer's Market at Kaiser off of magnolia on Fridays.
 
Apr. 11, 2010 11:31 pm
Baking Nana, you sound just like my own Nana! At just 26 years young, I had the priviledge of growing up poor. I say this because my parents didn't have the ability to run to the grocery for everything under the sun, or to snatch up a "heart attack waiting to happen with a side of thunder thighs". We are an LDS family, and food storage has always been a huge thing in our faith. Now that I'm grown with a household of my own, I still swear by food storage. I have 'convenince items', yes. But MY definitions is quite different! :) A 'convenience item' in my house is a tomato from the vine in my yard, a potato or carrot I've pulled up, or a zipper bag of apple juice I froze 2 months ago to make jelly with in the future! Keep up the quest!! Long live good health!!
 
steinbecke 
Apr. 12, 2010 4:36 am
I go to a Global Foods which has foods from different countries in each isle.....It is fun and they carry all types of fruits and veggies. The garlic, shallots and spices are fresh as they go fast. I also go to an Asian market as well from time to time. I need to go to the Mexican Market and see whats int here :) Whole foods is the only way to eat. We are killing ourselves as a nation eating packaged foods, and fast food. I fell into the bad habits at a young age....Thankfully 12 years ago in my mid 30's a friend got me into Healthly living. I'm into Organic whole food that nourishes your body! We buy beef, chicken and eggs from a local farmer....No hormones, antibiotics or herbicides. We eat Glueten Free 95% of the time. You will feel the difference eating good healthy whole foods. A 20 year old young woman vacationed with us and was scared to death that she would starve visiting the Organic family. I was sooooo amazed that she had never tried steamed Cauliflower, diced potato's, grilled brussel sprouts, etc., etc., At the end of her 5 days with us she was like WOW I'm gonna have to have my Mom make this stuff it was so good! GO NANA!!! If each one of us can make a difference in just one life as my friend did with me....the movement may shift....I tell my friends I'm just trying to eat as people did YEARS ago. God Bless!
 
Jamie 
Apr. 12, 2010 10:41 am
i don't mean to be rude, but are you working? is your son's wife working? are the execs wives working? if you have so much time where you can count freezer doors, etc. it makes me wonder if you are trying to balance raising a family with working a full-time job! i understand the importance of home-cooked meals, but it's not always totally feasible.
 
kelly 
Apr. 12, 2010 12:32 pm
Jamie, I know you directed this question to Nana... but I am a single mom of three and work full-time, just graduated from college, and still manage to cook home made meals for my family. I can't say I have time to count freezer doors, but I am certainly glad someone else did and made it a point to tell everyone else about it who wanted to listen. I made pulled pork sandwiches yesterday that was one of the most simple and inexpensive recipies ever! Just put the pork butt in a crock pot for a few hours, mixed with bbq sauce and had a great, healthy home cooked meal! By cooking at home it has also allowed me to save time and money by having lists and sticking to it, that way I don't have to go to the grocery store every day. And my children appreciate it, and even help out sometimes. Bottom line, even if it does require extra time for you to make home cooked meals and eliminate the fast food, aren't our families and children worth the effort?
 
Apr. 12, 2010 3:05 pm
Jamie: Yes, I do work. I am a personal chef. I cook healthy "family" type meals for families. As for the exec's wives - No, most of them don't work and no they don't cook. My son's wife doesn't "work" outside the home but has 3 children & numerous other obligations - she plans and shops 2 weeks at a time. I had to laugh at your comment about all my spare time to count freezer cases. You see, I don't find myself in the freezer section very often. With multiplication to took me less time to survey the aisles of junk food than it did to find frozen mangos and the frozen vegetables. BTW, when I was raising my 3 children I did manage to work, shop, cook & coach & referee soccer, serve on several boards. Cooking for my family was and still important. It takes planning and commitment. (a crockpot helps too) I still maintain that people make time for things that are important to them. Nutrition is important to me.
 
Apr. 12, 2010 3:11 pm
Hugbug - LDS place a great deal of importance on families and nutrition. Lucky you! How much more convienent than to have fresh tomatoes off the vine! Steinbecke keep spreading the good word. You are teaching by example.
 
Apr. 12, 2010 3:12 pm
Kelly - you are living proof that it can be done. Good for you.
 
HB Sue 
Apr. 12, 2010 4:09 pm
It's so interesting to read all the different perspectives. I left a big career 5 years ago and have re-dedicated to cooking and nutrition for my husband and 2 teenagers. I make almost everything from scratch (haven't mastered bread yet) and grow a full garden full of herbs and vegetables. (and I live in a big-sophisticated beach community) While I was working full-time we took the kids out once-a-week for dinner. Now, when it is their birthdays or a special occasion they get to pick and they ALWAYS want me to cook something special at home. My daughter had a sleepover at a friends last weekend and all she said when she got home was "all they eat is freezer food and it's discusting". Funny - how that family is all fighting weight issues and my family is known as the skinny family!! I must admit - it is much easier only working part-time and making wonderful meals but I wish I had just put more effort into it when my kids were small....the reward of good health is so great.
 
Apr. 12, 2010 4:20 pm
LOL.. So very true. I will take homemade leftovers from dinner the night before to work I work around RR Personnel all day long who are always asking what you have today..I take Lasagna w/salad bread or Soups or even homemade lettuce chicken wraps.They hit the local fast food restaurants daily very few bring food ( breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack) they average RR person spends about $20+ a day...or more.. Crazy...Plus they don't cook....they eat out..
 
Apr. 12, 2010 4:50 pm
Well, the debate, comments continue. This is really interesting and has obviously hit a chord. I'm just reviewing my menu for the week in my 40 min. window between getting home from work, swim club for the eldest and Tae Kwon do for the youngest. Tonight each of us is having a home-made burrito (ww tortilla, extra lean gr. beef, home -made sauce and spices) and raw cucumber and carrot stix. My youngest and I will eat now and the oldest when I pick him up later. Tomorrow we are having crock pot Italian beef (from this site) with some fresh rolls and some fresh steamed brocc/cauliflower. Wednesday is another marathon night so we're having somethingelse home-made from MY freezer (likely marinated ham steaks of vegetarian bulgar loaf with some kind of steamed fresh veg)and Thursday will likely be leftovers - if not perhaps a chicken stirfry and some brown basmati rice (that I've pre-cooked and frozen as it takes 45 min. to cook and I just don't have that kind of time - freezes very well and just thaw in the fridge and heat in microwave or frying pan.) Friday the boys dad is home so it will likely be something of his doing on the grill. This is a typical week for us. It takes planning and some time to stock the freezer but once you get into the swing of it, it does work without really any more effort than getting in/out of McDonalds. I do occasionaly put out the KD and hotdogs, but it is rare and my kids always complain afterwards. I think the getting to/from the fast food places is much more work than just coming home and doing it myself. It just takes planning which I usually do on Sunday nights before turning in. Without a plan though, I would be absolutely lost!
 
Apr. 12, 2010 5:02 pm
A couple of days ago, I posted a blog along these same lines! It's good to see someone else speaking their mind on this, also. It's getting impossible to find foods that aren't processed, and our local grocer has such a tiny section of frozen veggies that aren't in some kind of sodium-laden sauce. It's shameful, truly. And watching the carts come through the check-out lanes with their "owners" is extremely interesting. I'm always telling my husband if I can get to the point where I am ready to begin a dissertation, this is my subject!
 
Pi 
Apr. 12, 2010 5:57 pm
Way to go Nana! I've been in the restaurant business for over 20 years, and I've seen the changes.Now that hubby and I are alone in the house we started to go out more, but then it wasn't the same...even the food served at restaurants now, is so processed. You don't even KNOW what is in these special sauces; it is scary. And I know the schools have changed some of their menus, but it's not enough. Bravo! Maybe we can re-ignite a fire for healthy, not boring fresh food.
 
Apr. 12, 2010 6:02 pm
I have been unemployed for the past year, and have always enjoyed cooking, but now have more time to do it! It is amazing how much money you save and my kids love to be part of the preparation. And I had a fast food hamburger a few weeks ago for the first time in months, and I felt so sick afterward....going back to bringing good snacks in the car so I don't have to do that again! Great blog!!
 
Apr. 12, 2010 8:32 pm
HB Sue: Good for you! What a good example you set. BTW....bread is my passion and although not everyone has time for it...it really can be done. Yeast is addictive. I love baking for my husband, myself and my clients & family. One commitment I make to my clients is NO transfats....if you look at the bread labels for the bakery type Artisian Breads they are loaded with trans fats. Hence I bake daily. Amazing how after eating "real" food restaurant food pales in comparison. Be proud to be the skinny family! The others are just jealous!
 
Apr. 12, 2010 8:38 pm
Jayashiangel: Left overs are the best. Amazingly many people don't understand how a meal tonight is also lunch tomorrow. I made halibut tonight...great dinner....it will be lunch tomorrow (fish tacos) Halibut might seem pricey but not if you see 4 meals for $15. Heck, that $15.00 Halibut fed 4 people and $15 won't go far at Carl's Jr.
 
Apr. 12, 2010 8:42 pm
freezermama: You have it down! What I found when I was doing the run around with the kids sports and my own activities is to have a plan and not deviate from it. It is too easy to say....well.. "I don't feel like...." Leave those feelings for the weekend...weekdays require a plan!
 
Apr. 12, 2010 8:44 pm
wisweetp: Thank you for posting your blog. You and I are on the same page....let us spread the word!
 
Apr. 12, 2010 8:56 pm
Pi: The awareness has started in the schools...now we need to bring it home! Restaurant food used to be "special" any more I always think...what a waste of $$ and calories...not to mention the sodium levels! We have moved away from going out to staying home and inviting friends in. It is fun....we all try to out do one another and create the tastiest meals possible
 
Apr. 12, 2010 9:02 pm
Chrissie: There are blessings to be received from all adversity. Being unemployed has brought you and your family a new awareness. Money saved....healthy meals, kids involved in the preparation! Good stuff. BTW, I send an apple with my husband....just in case .... it is usually enough to get him home without a detour through the drive thru.
 
Apr. 12, 2010 10:16 pm
BN~ saw your shout-out, answered dthere & also checked out dthe new updates here. What hours is the Farmer's Market at the Kaiser location? I work until around 2 every day, so if it's mornings only-I'm out of luck. I used to go to one at Sears' on Arlington, but not w/the job I have now. Some of their prices were going through the roof & that was about 10 years ago. Have you been to the produce market on Mountain in Ontario? They have great stuff & really good prices, but I haven't been there for a couple of years now. Thanks for your help,I'll check out some new stores.
 
Apr. 12, 2010 11:40 pm
I absolutely love you for writing this! Unfortunately, I do not think I am a smart shopper. After a year of marriage, I finally learned how to cook. Since then, my husband and I rarely visit the frozen food section. However, our grocery bill has increased by almost $25! I'm hoping it will go down once we return to the United States and can take advantage of all the great deals offered at the supermarkets. Until then, it's money I'm willing to pay for a healthier lifestyle!
 
Apr. 13, 2010 12:16 am
BN...... I feel proud of myself that i cook homemade food for my family, DH is also proud and will applaud my efforts even to his family! We seem to always have an extra kid or two around, i dont turn anyone away. Really the last year i have been cooking more than ever, eating out at restaraunts gets expensive!! Occasionally we still eat out but its rare these days. Each week i sit down with the sales circular and create my list, coupons and all. We eat great and dont break the bank either its all in the planning, i tend to shop the perimiter of the store with the exception of canned veggies,baking isle. I also will forever feel glad that you and ladysparkle took the time to teach me the right way to start with yeast. These days i have a constant supply and freak out if running low your right when you say its addictive:-)
 
Apr. 13, 2010 7:28 am
Goodeats: I will check out the hours for the Farmer's market at Kaiser, I have not been this year yet. I have been shopping the mexican markets for produce. The produce market on Mountain in Ontario is really nice, but like you I have not been there in a while. I stop at Decker's vegetable stands in Chino on a regular basis. I get the huge bags of frozen veggies at Costco or Sam's. 5 lbs for around $6.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 7:33 am
Jess: Good for you for learning to cook and staying out of the freezer section. I think the price of groceries has increased world wide. It is well worth a few extra $$ for a healthier lifestyle. Keep up the good work.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 7:37 am
sillasmiles: I too really look forward to the ads. I make a game of it. I am glad that you have become friends with yeast. I too get nervous if I am running low on yeast or flour! How nice that you husband appreciates your efforts. Good for you!
 
LIndsey 
Apr. 13, 2010 11:39 am
Great post. I would like to note, however, that everyone in the family care share the responsibility for healthy cooking. It requires a concerted effort by everyone. I work, and so does my man, and it's not up to just me to make sure we eat right. He can help cook and help shop for healthy foods as well. Working together will achieve better results than working alone!
 
Apr. 13, 2010 11:59 am
Lindsey: You are so right. I made the assumption that one person would do the shopping and most of the meal planning. If you are both on the same page it really helps and if you both shop and cook even better.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 12:39 pm
My husband has so many meetings and they always include food. He always takes his lunch and breakfast to work and never eats the food they order. It has become a bit of a curiosity for some of his co workers, LOL. Breakfast is always cereal (whole grain, bran stuff and soy milk) But lunch - OH-lunch is always home made bread or kaiser roll, real chicken or some other meat with lots of veggies on it. For a sweet treat I make cake in the Wilton long pan and slice down and freeze in baggies. Jewish apple, CC pound cake, pumpkin breads and so on. No frosting or anything like that. He has one every day. Plus fruit. There is no pre packaged ANYTHING in his lunch. Funny thing is - my husband keeps telling me that they want me to cater their meetings! Wont I PLEASE consider... I think people want good and fresh food, they just dont want to be bothered making it for themselves. It IS work. It TAKES time, it takes PLANNING. But it is IMO the best thing I can do for my family. It pleases me immensely that my husband prefers my fresh food to the catered food that is FREE and always abundant. Even my kids are the same - they always ask "did you make it, mom?" if so they eat it - store bought items I buy in a pinch simply don't get eaten. That makes me try even harder to put out the effort for them.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 12:40 pm
Jeez - do I really always use ALWAYS that much? sorry.... :o
 
Dayle 
Apr. 13, 2010 1:21 pm
Although I agree with you, OP, you fail to realize not everyone has the time you do. Yes, it may only take 10-15 mins to cook the fish, and 10 mins to cook a veggie and make a salad but combine that with the time for prep work and the time for cleaning up the dishes, and that's at least an hour. That's 50 mins more than I, and many others like me, have to make and eat a meal. Although I don't promote frozen or pre-packaged food, planning can only go so far. Not everyone has the available time, a strict working schedule or a predictable life. As someone who works on weekends, but is on call during the week, has a 40+ hour work week of school, which sometimes has me at school from 8 until 8 or finds that I now have assignments due in two days or tests the next week, or team project meetings that have to be rescheduled because of someone's class schedule... I can't tell you the amount of times frozen pizza has saved me. Like I said, definitely not condoning it, but it's definitely not as black and white as you seem to purpose. It is unfortunate that your grocery stores sound so horrible though, I'm just happy that Quebec seems to still keep it down to one frozen aisle.
 
Denise 
Apr. 13, 2010 1:53 pm
This completely supports a book I'm reading - The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. EXCELLENT book and yes, we need to be in the kitchen more eating real food. Of course I'm preaching to the choir! Great blog.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 2:06 pm
Baking Nana is not a snob. It is the truth. The entire grocery store could be reduced down by about 50% if they got rid of all the junk that is sold as food. It is the reason for obesity in this country. It is the reason why people in this country are sicker than they have ever been and take more medications than ever. I just watched Food, Inc. this weekend. We vote every time we eat. We choose life or death every time we put the fork to our mouths. Cruise Ship or Nursing home...... What is your choice?
 
Apr. 13, 2010 2:08 pm
Dayle: You are a very busy person. I concede that if I were cooking for just myself and as busy as you are I wouldn't cook like it do now. That said, when I was in college I worked 2 part time jobs. One day a week I would cook one big meal and eat off it all week long. Between that and the one job I had was in the food industry - it kept me fed. I also think that Canada, as a Nation, recommends more vegetables per day than the U.S. (5 a day) If your market only has one freezer aisle I would say that is really good.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 2:08 pm
By the way Michael Pollan is in the Food, Inc. movie talking about his book. Great investigative work on the truth about where our food comes from. It really makes you view the whole world in a different light.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 2:12 pm
What's for dinner, Mom? Your husband is a smart man. I bet his co-workers are envious! Not just for the food he brings but for the attention and care that goes into those meals. I personally am spoiled and would rather not eat than to eat many processed foods.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 2:32 pm
Denise: The Omnivore's Dilemma is an excellent book....interesting and disturbing at the same time. Yep, we are both preaching to the choir! Spread the word!
 
Apr. 13, 2010 2:37 pm
cookhealthy: The markets in my area are HUGE and I can skip 90% of the products. We do vote every time we make a purchase. I am going to steal your saying, "Cruise Ship or Nursing Home." Good one! BTW, as I was preparing to write this blog I went through some of the packages in my pantry. You know, I found a can of corn that had not just salt added but sugar too!
 
Soifua 
Apr. 13, 2010 5:28 pm
this was a wonderful read - I completely agree Baking Nana and am fortunate to be able to cook and budget, I had a hard time finding frozen chopped spinach in the market last week, but I eventually did, hidden in the middle of all the microwavable veggies
 
Apr. 13, 2010 5:43 pm
Soifua: Thanks for stopping in. To be able to cook and budget it a real gift....and pays off in so many ways. It is a dying art. I always look at the line at the drive thru's in the evening and am amazed! Imagine how much "real" food could be purchased for the same amount of money.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 6:03 pm
You ARE one reason i LOVE AR. It has inspired me to cook for my family, when I see how doable it is. I heard that it is healthier to bake bread using rice and spelt instead of wheat. What do you think?
 
Apr. 13, 2010 6:48 pm
Maureen, You are so sweet...thank you. I do an amazing rice bread....Wild rice (which is a grass not a grain) oats, flax, wheat germ. I don't have the recipe posted. (I actually don't follow a recipe any more...shame on me) Spelt is great. I do add vital wheat gluten to any whole grain bread that doesn't call for bread flour. I don't do gluten free. I will leave that up to someone who really has a gluten free kitchen!
 
Apr. 13, 2010 7:17 pm
I really love how this blog is generating a bit of dissent, a lot of affirmation and more than a bit of whining. If everyone agreed that would just be too easy. I love a good debate. I don't believe anyone is too busy to put healthy foods in their bodies. It is a choice, plain and simple. We can say "poor me" and make excuses or we can work that little bit harder and do something about it. Some of us just choose to plan, work, plan and work and plan and work some more to make it happen. It is also about being interested enough to look, read and educate oneself. I'm also learning to take life as it comes and do what I can. Do I knock myself out if we end up in the drive through when I've forgotten to take something out of the freezer or a meeting runs overtime and we're all exhausted, cranky and starving? Of course not, but these occasions are few and far between. I admit that yesterday morning (our out of the house by 7a.m. morning) was not going well. To get my kids out of bed I had to have them race to the table for hotdogs(leftover from our annual bonfire in the back forty this past weekend). That was a new one but it worked! When I started out with the single thing in the early mornings it was a bribe with a pop tart or sugary cereal almost every morning. Now it is a rarity. Our hectic screaming matches haven't disappeared but we've developed a pretty solid routine that we all can live with. Evenings are also a lot better with only a trip for take out occuring maybe once a month. Evenings meals on a Mon-Th. are ones that I've made myself and froze. All they take is remembering to take out of the freezer in the morning and a heat up in the micro or fry pan. The most "cooking" that I do is to turn on the steamer for some veggies. I even put those in the pot and leave them in the fridge ready to just plunk on the stove as soon as I get in the door on my super busy nights. Both boys (8 and 13) have strict jobs to do on arrival home. 8 sets the table, I cook, and 13 clears and cleans up. (sometimes I have the best job which allows me to blog away while they work...) Again, organization and routine are what keeps things stable. Now if I could maintain this structure when Dad arrives home, life would be even better!!!!
 
Apr. 13, 2010 7:39 pm
Ahh...I remeber the hours around dinner time so well....my kids are grown and gone but still live close enough for me to be involved. 3PM - 6 PM was a nightmare...solution...have a healthy snack (meal) waiting for when they come home. Kids in Jr. High and High School are cranky if not fed. Even my 8 year old grand daughter will have a "melt down" if she is hungry. Funny, she doesn't even know she is hungry. Then homework....practice. The crock pot is a mom's best friend. Even now I cook meals stove top and load them into crock pots to stay warm and ready for the troops.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 7:50 pm
BTW - my answer to after school nutritional melt down.....sliced apples with peanut butter. Does the trick every time. Natural sugar from the apple and protein from the peanut butter.
 
Apr. 13, 2010 11:04 pm
Dayle: Example of a fast and easy meal....walk in the door, have a plan - 1)immediately pre heat oven to 450., 2)remove fish from the refrigerator. 3)Measure rice into rice cooker, add water - rinse and add water to the correct line....On top steamer basket of rice cooker add broccoli...shut lid hit cook. (10 minutes total) 4) Season fish an place on parchment lined sheet pan...sprinkle with sesame seeds. 5) Bake fish for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve, Fish, rice and broccoli. 6) Clean up: Toss parchment paper - rinse out rice cooker, swab dinner plate and knife and fork. If this meal takes you more that 30 minutes start to finish - well....what can I say. This is one easy, healthy meal...doesn't cost a fortune, start to finish. I swear it would take you longer to cook a TV dinner.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 5:47 am
Thanks for the ideas. I'm always looking for fast(really fast), kid friendly, healthy meals and ideas. Sounds like a good topic for another blog and would help provide some solutions for those that say they just don't have time.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 6:56 am
I am so glad to see that I am not alone in my belief in making things from scratch whenever possible! I too avoid the majority of the freezer section - the majority of the inner aisles at the grocery store for that matter - with a few exceptions, everything I buy comes from the edges of the store - dairy, meat, produce, etc. I was not raised that way either, we had alot of processed, quick foods growing up. I just have always loved the idea of cooking and started teaching myself from cookbooks - my early efforts were hit or miss! lol But little by little it gets easier. I've learned to garden and can (still perfecting that skill!) and to make better use of my own freezer! It is going to get harder now since we have just our first baby and I am going back to work in a couple of weeks - but when it comes right down to it...it is just SO worth it!!!
 
Apr. 14, 2010 8:46 am
Hi nana, I really enjoyed your blog and did a little scanning of all the posts it recieved. I think it's great you took the time to count the freezer doors, it's the only way anyone can be aware of whats going on in the grocery world. Everyone claims to be too busy for this & too busy for that, but they don't realize they are responsible for thier own time management. My husband & I both work full time and have very busy schedules. We used to get caught up in the "lets go out to eat tongight, we don't have enough 'time' to cook" mindset. After a little while, we realized how much time our eating out was consuming. By the time you drive to the restaurant 10-20 min, order & eat your food ( 20 min fast food, 60-90 minutes sit down) and the 10-20 min home, you have used anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours where you could have cooked a lot of things. Another obstacle we have fixed is my husband had been living on frozen burritos & such as a bachelor. he would constantly say there was nothing in the house he could grab for a snack and would end up grabbing a taco at a drive thu if I didn't keep the freezer stocked. Finally showed him just as quick as he could microwave his frozen burrito, he could also microwave his taco shell with cheese & lunch meat and even add a few veggies or sour cream if he wanted. This is his new on the go snack and it seems to be working well. We still have plenty of other bad grocery habits to fix, but this is our start... Thanks again for the blog!
 
Mrs.N 
Apr. 14, 2010 9:54 am
23`
 
Mrs.N 
Apr. 14, 2010 10:04 am
Sorry! The dog jumped onto the keyboard! What I was going to say is that, though I have always hated cooking, most of our food is from scratch, so I, too, have noticed that plain veggies are getting harder and harder to find in the freezer section. Cooking has always been a challenge for me (but I have learned one great skill - how to put out grease fires without a fire extinguisher), but as God's hand of providence would have it, because of multiple food allergies and sensitivities in our family, cooking from scratch is how we do things at our house most of the time. We're definitely healthier than we would've been had we been healthy enough to tolerate all of the mixed, highly refined foods that are crowding out the fresh stuff these days.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 10:25 am
Nana, Great blog and definitely "food for thought". I was raised by a traditional working mother, that cooked home meals for us every day. We lived on a small ranch in Montana, so what we didn't raise ourselves we purchased at a store about 30 miles away. If we didn't have something, we went without and enacted a Plan B. Back in those days, going into town for Pizza was a HUGE treat for us kids and we always saw it as a special time, not an everyday occurrence. Everything I make.. from breads to cakes are made from scratch. To this day - and I'm 53 years old - I've never tasted macaroni and cheese out of a box! It wasn't always easy. I was a single parent for 17 years and back then, there wasn't alot of study about the effects of fast food in the diet, or packaged foods - so, there were more trips to fast food places then I ever had as a kid growing up. Now that we know better.. I doubt this information will curb the appetite for junk food, but I think with todays trends for educating the public, we might just have a shot. Let me just state one thing, however.. if people around the world are succumbing to the fast food craze.. who's fault is that? It's easy to blame Americans, but in the end, we all decide what we put on the table. I've lived all over the world and there has been fast food there long before McDonald's came to town.. fish shops, sausage rolls, gravy & chips. If America then is to be blamed for the unhealthy diets of those in other parts of the world, then blame away.. but in the end, it's everyone's responsibility for the choices we make.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 10:38 am
AMEN TO THAT BELLES!!! Let's not make an excuse and blame others for our eating habits. No one is to blame but you. I lived in England for many years and I guarantee that buying chips fried in animal fat and loaded with gravy was our daily treat on the way home from school. We didn't know it was unhealthy. Everything in moderation is what I say. If people choose to eat poorly, then that's their choice. All we can do is educate them and concentrate on our own families and do the best we can.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 10:44 am
Chips and gravy.. lol. I know just about everyone in my immediate neighborhood and I can honestly say that most everyone here cooks meals for their family. I don't notice alot of junk fooders, but maybe I'm not paying attention.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 11:24 am
Great Blog! I have health issues and must monitor my diet to make sure that I don't consume too many carbs, sodium, sugar. Because of this, we eat most meals at home which are homemade so we can control these elements. According to my grown children, one of the best gifts that I ever gave them was the knowledge of how to cook and bake (plus doing the laundry - a whole other subject). Menu planning for the week has been my way of life and makes shopping ever so much easier. I hardly ever stop in the freezer aisle unless it is for ice cream.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 3:29 pm
I am in TOTAL agreement with you! My kids dont eat any of the prepackaged frozen meals (nor do my husband and I)or ice cream (son has an egg allergy, so we make homemade).....homemade is SO much better and cheaper. And the comment about lookin' in someone's cart is SO true.....what always hits me is when you see very overweight parents with very overweight kids (more the norm than the unusual these days)....it is a learned family pattern that we have to break to save our kids. I am a huge fan of Jamie Oliver and you touched on a lot of stuff here too! Go for the good stuff - go fresh!
 
Apr. 14, 2010 4:30 pm
Well written! We need more wives and moms who care to cook.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 4:54 pm
I have noticed that on days when I "cheat" and get a hoagie or drive thru food - my family gets full very quickly. They feel stuffed and bloated. BUT - sure enough, they are back looking for a snack in about an hour - hour and a half. I notice this because it is a rarity I don't cook full meals. My family hardly ever eats anything after dinner unless I make an occasional desert. Just thought it was odd at how the difference in food affects them. And on another note - I am busy- I have 5 children with all the usual activities, a husband and my own business. I care for a sick mom (to an extent) and am involved in many activities in my community. So YEAH - I understand busy.... but, I also am a planner, a thinker and determined to feed my family the healthiest food I can. I also have learned to say NO to some things so I can cook the meals I want. Once you really, truly give it a try you can see that it is not as hard as you once thought! It becomes second nature. The crock-pot is my BEST FRIEND!
 
Apr. 14, 2010 6:47 pm
What's for dinner, mom?, you are bang on. Learning to say NO is a huge accomplishment. I'm in my 40's now and I finally feel like I can say no, and I do! Life will continue, the job will still be there and my family will still stay intact. That's a big revelation and is a huge obstacle to overcome. BRAVO!
 
Apr. 14, 2010 7:44 pm
Wow, lots of new comment today....thank you all. AuntJamelle - I wish you luck returning to work. I know when my first was born I had every intention of returning to the work force....I had three months off, then decided I couldn't do it. We changed gears and I stayed home. It meant tightening the belt but then I was home to shop and cook and take care children, so I didn't have to have a wardrobe and pay daycare. We made it work. I hope it works out for you.
 
Jiyuni 
Apr. 14, 2010 7:47 pm
I'm a college student and I cook ALL my meals. I do have occasional frozen meals, but around about 3 a semester. I hardly eat them because i can make something better and more filling (healthier too!) it saves me money and I feel like I'm getting better at cooking. I also pack lunch EVERYDAY. A bit annoying but I don't want to spend money eating out every day. :/
 
Jiyuni 
Apr. 14, 2010 7:49 pm
I'm also extremely busy too but really there are alot of simple recipes out there. :/ (I have an internship, parttime job, 18 units of classes, and a senior thesis film going on all at the same time. :/) I really want to get a crockpot at some point.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 7:54 pm
Kimberly: I absolutely agree....eating out takes time and it takes it's toll on you. I will continue to maintain that people make time for those things that are important to them. As odd as it sounds, my husband will do a bowl of whole oats for breakfast or grab a bowl of left over stir fry. I eat odd meals....all healthy but not what most would think of. Sliced chicken and a tomato is often my breakfast. It work for me.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 7:58 pm
Mrs.N - You gotta love those typing dogs! Don't you think that food allergies are becoming more common? I know several people like your family who have to cook everything from scratch...it isn't an option for them. Fresh is best and as you said it might be a challenge but the rewards are mighty!
 
Apr. 14, 2010 8:03 pm
BellesAZ & QueenPin: Great comments - we are all responsible for our own eating habits. I had to chuckle about the fish and chips etc. I too lived in England - went to school there. I arrived in Britain at 95 lbs and returned home 3 years later at 165! I still adore sausage rolls - but now they are for holidays only. Seems the only exercise I got was walking to the next meal!
 
Apr. 14, 2010 8:06 pm
Cammy K - How nice that your kids appreciate what you taught them. They in turn can pass that passion on to their children. Planning is key and is a learned skill.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 8:16 pm
nittyanyjones I can't help look at those over weight children and pity them. They will have a life time battle ahead of them. I still haven't seen Jamie Oliver's show but I want to tape it. It is a learned family pattern. It is time to wake up and see what we are doing to the youth of America.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 8:18 pm
Dinner Coach: I am preaching to the choir! You are the perfect example of a busy woman who has the planning, shopping and freezing down pat. Way to go.
 
Apr. 14, 2010 8:23 pm
What's for dinner, Mom? - It is the truth that those fast food meals are empty calories leaving you wanting for more. The crock pot is the busy person's best friend. The older kids can even load a crock pot and set it going. When my kids were all playing sports I would take food to the field so that they wouldn't be drawn to the "snack bar" - cheap hot dogs on even cheaper buns, nachos and sodas. Yuck!
 
Apr. 14, 2010 8:30 pm
Jiyuni: Good for you! Packing that lunch saves you big time and cooking a healthy meal for yourself will go a long way. Check the thrift stores for a crock pot. I just bought another new one for $15. 4 quart and perfect for you. Packing your own lunch is just a habit to get into. My brother, to this day packs his lunch the night before. Usually left overs - not always, but without fail his lunch is packed and ready to grab and go. Good luck with you studies and thanks for stopping in.
 
Apr. 15, 2010 6:59 am
baking nana, the bowl of oats for dinner does not sound odd at all. We feel the healthiest when we have started our day with eggs and finish it with something as simple as a bowl of our favorite cereal.
 
pjakobs 
Apr. 15, 2010 9:30 am
I didn't really start seriously cooking until about 2 years ago, before that we lived in the frozen aisles. Now that I do cook, I discovered the great secret to cooking. There is no secret! It's easy, you just have to learn to follow directions and do some planning ahead. We eat so much better now.
 
Apr. 15, 2010 9:43 am
pjakobs: Good for you.....there is no great secret...it just takes planning and a desire. Practice and soon you won't even need a recipe for your favorite dishes.
 
Angela 
Apr. 15, 2010 12:30 pm
I SOOO agree with you. My children and 24 and 28 (both married with children) and I have taught then both to cook from "scratch". My sons wife also is learning. I cannot believe what people consider food these days. My grandchildren eat healthy homecooked meals almost every day, even ate some fresh baby food. Thank you, and if we can only spread the word!
 
Apr. 15, 2010 2:35 pm
Spread the word Angela! My daughters both cook. One is married to a man that was raised on Hot Pockets....she has a hard time with him buying junk. My other daughter has 6 kids and a husband who looks "real" food. She cooks every night. My son married a woman who, to be honest had a lot to learn in the kitchen. She has come a long way and cooks every night. Good stuff!
 
SeniorBubba 
Apr. 15, 2010 3:53 pm
This post got me all excited so I decided to see if HomeMadeCrusade.com was available and it was so I set up a little blog for it with a recipe plugin. No content there so tell me what you want, or if you want, I will give you editor status and you all can make it what you want. What a great movement it could be.
 
Apr. 15, 2010 5:24 pm
No, Bubba - I haven't start HomeMadeCrusade.com It is merely a thought.
 
Apr. 15, 2010 5:42 pm
You coaxed the heart right out of the cooks, NANA! There's nothing more to add but tosay I've been working for months putting helpful budgeting recipes,household recycling tips,for low income,handicapped, disabled and stabilized mentally ill persons. The title? HOMEMADE
 
Apr. 15, 2010 7:53 pm
It's just heartwarming to read this post and all the supportive comments! I'm 25 and am married with 2 kids, and I grew up with alot of home-cooked meals, even if most involved canned veggies and instant potatoes. It certainly wasn't frozen dinners, and I give my mother (divorced, who sometimes worked 2 jobs) alot of credit for that! My husband had already stopped drinking soda and eating fast food before we got together, and I have now, too. We stopped eating meat together, and I'm proud to say my 2-year-old daughter has never had any (we do eat fish). I've always enjoyed cooking, and even as a teenager I'd be proud to prepare my stuffed mushrooms, pumpkin cheesecake, and deviled eggs for family holidays. I've only gotten more passionate about it now that I'm married with children. After watching numerous documentaries and reading books (I recommend Eating Animals and Hope's Edge) I feel fully enlightened about what I put in my body. I'm just giddy for the farmer's markets in my area to start up again, it's become a Saturday morning treat! There's nothing like taking my family out to mingle with the very people who grow much of the food we eat. Food is so personal, and we need to get back to our connection with it. We need to respect food! Turning wonderful, nutritious food into frozen is a crime. I am proud to say I hadn't really noticed what was in the frozen food sections lately, because I haven't really been there! The last frozen foods I bought were frozen organic corn, peas, and edamame for the fried rice I make at home, and frozen strawberries and blueberries for the smoothies I make in the morning. We always have fresh fruit, yogurt, and cottage cheese in the fridge, and they're my 2-year-old's favorite snack! I'm really fortunate that my mother-in-law takes care of our kids while we work, and she respects our food choices. The sad thing is that her kitchen used to be packed with sugary snacks and convenience foods for the 2 little girls she used to care for, because that's all they would eat. They would be eating a snack of fruit roll-ups at 9am, or eating donuts for breakfast! (And to think, this used to be a treat when I was growing up, now it horrifies me!) Once my daughter started participating in snacktime, it was grapes, oranges, and bananas! I make her breakfast every morning before work, sometimes fruit and yogurt, usually scrambled eggs and wheat toast. Usually lunch consists of leftovers from the night before. I love making fried rice, pasta with lots of fresh veggies, chinese vegetables, homemade bread and ravioli, homemade veggie burgers. We've also gotten into gardening a bit this spring, and we've planted peas, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and a windowbox full of herbs! It's amazing to watch your food grow, so satisfying to eat a freshly baked loaf of homemade bread, and I love hearing my in-laws beg me to make them another batch of corn chowder or mushroom-filled spinach ravioli! So, when it comes down to it, we should find the time to cook because of the way it can enhance our WHOLE LIVES! Nothing is more satisfying than taking the most basic ingredients you can find and transforming them into a wonderful meal that your family enjoys as it nourishes both their body and soul! Oh, and I absolutely ADORE AR. I have a very addicting FaceBook accoung, and I've been on here way more than that! Thanks everyone!!
 
Apr. 15, 2010 8:50 pm
I was in my local grocery store today and I will buy some things from the organic shelves.. I am looking at the overhang signs and the sign for this aisle reads 'health foods, dried fruit, cookies, candies, and crackers'..I just found this hilariously ironic.. but it is amazing the amount of 'fake food' there is in the grocery store! I heard on the radio that 2/3 of my state is now considered overweight...it is not their faults entirely..our food is !
 
Apr. 15, 2010 9:06 pm
Am & Ad's Gram: Thanks for your feedback. Budgeting, planning & cooking go hand in hand. Those elements apply to all of us.
 
Apr. 15, 2010 9:15 pm
It is possible to eat healthy on a budget if you take the time to plan! I am a single mom who receives food stamps. I make my budget work by growing some of my own fruits and vegetables (I am a student and work, but still make time to do this), incorporating at least three or four vegetarian meals into my weekly menu, painstakingly planning my weekly meals and only buying ingredients for those meals in addition to fruit or other healthy snacks (granola, etc). My daughter helps me in the garden, I let her help me pick which vegetables we are going to grow and buy (I show her how to choose the best, in season), and I take her to the local farmers market (even if I don't plan to buy anything). We NEVER have soda in the house and drink mostly water or juice. A two liter of soda may be cheaper in the short term but in the long run you pay for it with yours and your child's health. We have let the nutritionists and advertisers take over our common sense when it comes to food. As Michael Pollan says, don't eat anything your great great great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food!
 
Apr. 15, 2010 9:20 pm
LilMama84: Thanks for your insight on this issue. Obviously, on AR I am preaching to the wrong crowd. Still it is heartwarming to hear from people like you that really get it. Spread the message.
 
Apr. 15, 2010 9:30 pm
shmartcookie: Oh, yes! Please buy prepackaged "organic" junk food! LOL. Since when do we "need" snack food? Sorry, I don't get it. "I heard on the radio that 2/3 of my state is now considered overweight...it is not their faults entirely..our food is!" ---- Look around you and this fact will be confirmed...however I disagree, it is their choice....they just don't get "it" or have never been taught. maybe they just don't want to know the truth about their diet.
 
Apr. 15, 2010 9:59 pm
branchan: You are the perfect example of making it work, with what you have! Bless you! Growing what you can...shopping & budgeting and still feeding yourself and your child "real" food. Amazing - water is a great beverage! Soda is junk! Michael Pollan has a great message. Thanks for sharing.
 
SueK 
Apr. 15, 2010 11:34 pm
I announced to my houseful of teenagers that I was cutting down on the amount of processed food that we eat. There were groans and moans; you'd have thought I'd cut the cable TV servce. They did, however, like the homemade bread idea. Made out my grocery list tonight and then took a pencil it and got rid of almost everything that was processed in some way. What a surprise! I hadn't realized all of the convenient foods that had crept onto the list. But no more! Thank you, Nana, for giving me that extra little nudge to get me back on the healthy food highway.
 
Apr. 16, 2010 6:47 am
SueK - Good for you! Homemade bread is the best! Your teenagers will adjust & come to love "real" food. Good luck to you on your quest for healthy food.
 
slowcooker 
Apr. 16, 2010 7:39 am
I read then printed your blog. I'm hoping the newspaper here will reprint if alright with you and allrecipes.com I did the same thing that you did. I actually noted the cases for ice cream, pizza, junk! and compared it to what was 'healthy' (butter added, processed, etc.) in the remaining cases. I made a complaint. The problem is that grocers won't change what is selling. Fortunately, there is a new organic farm that just opened here and all they grow are non-hybrid veggies and meats and eggs and honey. I am going to shop there and start to promote (even more than before) this type of lifestyle. I had suffered for years from depression. I was diagnosed with major depression disorder. In a nutshell that means a lifelong sentence of taking antidepressants. I changed my diet (no easy task for me because of the depression) and 99% of the depression left. I have now planted an herb, vegetable garden and am considering raising my own chickens for both meat and eggs. I will be checking back with you from time to time. God bless you!
 
Apr. 16, 2010 9:55 am
Thanks for spreading the word 'slowcooker'. I am not sure what AllRecipes has to say about reprinting blogs....I will check with them. As far as I am concerned, we need to get the word out. The only way that our markets will change what they stock is if the people with purchasing power stop buying this junk.
 
Apr. 16, 2010 9:58 am
Slowcooker: I meant to add, have you noticed how many people now have gluten intolerance or other dietary issues & allergies that manifest themselves as depression or other autoimmune disorders? Wake up America - we are slowly poisoning ourselves.
 
Apr. 22, 2010 9:54 am
Baking Nana I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put this blog together. Thankfully I was raised with a Mom who cooked from scratch in the household and I have been cooking for my family in the same fashion. Time consuming, yes, but it is the only way to go. I love cooking from scratch and love the fact that AR has put together this site allowing individuals to put their homemade recipes on here to share as well as to share helpful hints and great blogs like yours! Thank you again for this blog, I will be sending to friends and family!
 
Apr. 22, 2010 11:31 am
Thanks for commenting & your kind words Daisy. Please spread the word!
 
Apr. 23, 2010 12:37 pm
You are so right, Baking Nana. I'm teaching my almost 5 year old and 2 1/2 year about good food choices everyday, I'm proud that my kids have never eaten at a fast food chain. We have plenty of treats don't get me wrong. I don't want to sound preachy but good nutrition starts at home. Thank you for addressing this very important issue!
 
Apr. 25, 2010 7:03 pm
Sugarbean....you are so welcome! This is important and as long as kids see fast food as a treat there is going to be a problem. Fast food should be see as punishment not a treat.
 
Apr. 28, 2010 5:24 am
Baking Nana- thanks so much for a fascinating, well written blog. I LOVE putting healthy, homemade meals on the table for my family. My hubby thanks me over and over for taking the time to make healthy well-balanced meals for our family. (He said if it was up to him, he'd put PB&J sandwiches on the table every night!) I love that it also sets a good example for my kids that I hope they will carry over to their own families. We got the best Christmas present from my dad this year: He loves to cook, so he put together a cookbook of his favorite recipes for me and my siblings (4 families). We all opened them at the same time and for the next half hour all you could hear was the turning of pages and squeals of delight from kids and grandkids alike! Thanks again, and happy cooking!