I don't want a doctored-up can, box, or package dinner! I want real, fresh food!
Feb. 21, 2011 1:41 pm
Updated: Feb. 25, 2011 10:41 pm
My quest for eating healthier has been met with walls of frustration.
(scroll down if you don't want to hear my complaining, just why I am complaining lol)
I get irked when I go recipe hunting and find self-described "homemade" meals using a vast array of canned this or that and boxed such-and-such. Some things I understand, like not everyone is going to make their own pastas, so please pass the box or bag on
that one (although, I have been price shopping Imperia pasta presses, I will still be buying farfalle, penne, and shells). And hey, canned organic tomatoes DO come in handy quite often, but I have had it with canned cream of X soups! I was so excited when
I learned to make my own 'cream of mushroom soup' for green bean casserole and saucy or creamy dinners. I do not miss that gelatinous can-shaped mass, nor the dozens of extra additives that came with it. Which reminds me, why do people by cranberry jelly?
You plop it out of the can, with its striped imprinted rings, cut it into rounds, and THAT is served with your delicious turkey dinner? How about buying some REAL cranberries and popping them in a saucepan to make a cranberry sauce? (I should post my recipe,
it is slammin'!)
Usually when I make baked beans, I just throw some ingredients in the pot and add to it as I taste to round out the flavors. I'm from the Boston suburbs so my beans always seem to come out with the same Bean-Town taste. So today I decided to find structure
for another flavor of beans. Why are so many baked beans recipes on a foundation of canned pork-n-beans?!?! Bring on the dry beans! Or even plain canned beans would be o.k.
I want to cook so I know what is going into my food. I mean know the real ingredients, not a package of fifteen ingredients I can't pronounce, nonetheless have no clue as to their purpose or what they actually are. Not only do I want to know all the ingredients
in my meals, I want to ingredients to be healthy and natural, not harmful or created.
Real homemade cooking has become a challenge for those of us younger generations. We hear older generations talk about 'from-scratch' or 'like grandma used to make' as if it is some distant past where people could actually take pride in their cooking, knowing
it was fresh. That is what cooking and homemade meals really are. But that 'distant past' has really only changed over that last, what?, fifty years, as farms became factories and food became an industry, and unfortunately, a business.
Many of us have been raised on boxes and cans. When I was young, we regularly ate boxed chicken nuggets, blueberry pancakes, macaroni & cheese, alfredo noodles from a bag, pre-seasoned boxed frozen veggies, and even "TV" microwave dinners (I understand taking
microwave dinners to work or while at a hotel, but I do not understand at home when you have a kitchen). Nowadays, if any of that is served from my kitchen, you can bet I actually made it (not just removed a lid or tore open a bag and heated it) and you will
not be consuming powdered flavorings, artificial blueberries, or processed chicken meat.
Many of us have been doing the boxed/canned thing just because WE HAVEN'T KNOWN ANY BETTER. Boy, was it an awakening when I learned about the changes in food over the years. Our foods have been genetically manipulated and they do not have to tell us or even
want us to think about it. Animals are raised in unsanitary conditions, fed foods unnatural for their diets, they are larger than they used to be and get there in a fraction of the time. Produce travels so far from where it is picked to reach the grocery
store, that it is picked before it is ripe so it will not be over-ripe when it hits the shelves and many are coated in wax to look shiny and attractive so we will want to buy it. Our palates have been trained to crave these modern, fatty, preservative and
additive laden foods chock full of lab-created flavors. It blows my mind to think that a burger from a fast food joint is made of the ground meat mixed from thousands of cattle. One little patty, so many cows. At least you know a steak is from the same
What I Think We Should Do About It:
Man, I CAN NOT WAIT for farmers' market time!
Bring on the fresh, organic, healthy food, that didn't travel hundreds or thousands of miles to reach my dinner plate!
We need to support these resources so we do not lose them.
We need to buy organic. I KNOW organic is expensive, but with good reason: organic foods aren't grown in manipulated ways, therefore costing the farmer more money. The animals are in conditions and fed the diets they need to be healthy, they are not grown
super-sized in short periods of time but instead their natural and healthy growth. Produce isn't grown with pesticides or other chemicals or modifications but, again, as nature intended them to. These methods provide a healthier, natural product but with
less yield. Less yield = higher price to keep the operation rolling and not losing money.
We can drive down the price. Supply and demand. Buying organic shows we want organic in the stores. The more organic products we support, the better the chance of lowering the price and offering a better variety of products. Aside from fruit and veggies,
many grocery stores now carry a variety of organic meats, dairy products, and grains.
Every item that beeps through the supermarket checkout is a vote for that product, be it chips and cola or organic carrots, organic strawberry jam and organic peanut butter.
You vote with your dollar.
The funny thing is, before food was industrialized and genetically tinkered with, all foods were organic. It just wasn't called organic because there was clearly no need to distinguish natural from modified/manipulated.
One Last Little Rant:
I WANT REAL FOOD. I WANT IT FRESH, NATURAL, NORMAL, AND HEALTHY!
It would be cool if Allrecipes had an easy way to distinguish real home cooking from recipes built on the convenience of prepared ingredients from a package.
Does anyone else get as pissed off and passionate about this as I do?
heh heh, I think I've worked up an appetite, for something fresh of course!