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.