Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekend Cooking; Salt Sugar Fat

Those are definitely three ingredients you use in cooking but I want to discuss the book by Michael Moss.  I listen to this book back and forth from school on my phone.  I often make faces in my car as I listen and I'm sure that I crack up my fellow drivers.  The information in the book really disgusts me.  I generally think that food has been ravaged more recently but the book relays how long this "manufacturing" of food has been going on.

I've heard all the big hitter names, Kellogg's, General Mills, Post, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Unilever, and Cargill have all been mentioned and I'm only half finished with the book. Let me preface this with I know they are just trying to make money because they are a company but my answer back is do they have to make money on the backs of others (that would be us the guinea pigs). How much is too much money for CEOs and this goes for many businesses today.

I'm amazed at how all these food companies play with our food, adding more sugar, salt, and fat to appeal and pull us to buy their products repeatedly. It comes down to manufacturing the tastes that our body has adapted to crave because they've made you crave it.  (crazy, yes)  I've long been a consumer of a more organic and homegrown options and I don't buy much processed food.  My kids have long been taught how advertising works and to avoid believing even the most ordinary claims.  They even know that the word "natural" does not really mean that anymore AT ALL.

But there is so much more to tell and it has a lot to do with psychology and how how our brain and our tastebuds work together.  Food manufactured to taste like food.  Makes you wonder why we don't just let it be food.  You know the fresh stuff that grows out of the ground and that we raise on farms.  All in the name of progress; so women could work and get a meal on the table fast.  The biggie food companies hired chemists to turn food into fast food.  Jell-O, pudding, TV dinners, boxed mashed potatoes, anything that could be  created anew and made quick.  Progress.

I wish I knew how we could turn this back because we definitely have a problem with obesity in this country.  Right about the time video games and other techno toys pulled kids to the sofa or bean bag chairs and grabbing quick and easy food from the kitchen  to fuel their play they stopped playing outside and burning those calories.

My mom was a pretty healthy cook and we ate mostly homemade and homegrown.  Going to McDonald's was a huge treat and it did not happen very often.  We had Kool-aid and popsicles in the summer time but we didn't live on the stuff.  Our evenings were spent playing kick-the-can, football, baseball, or other running around games.  My mom even kicked us outside in the wintertime to "blow the stink" off us.

It's a good book and I'm going to finish it as I begin my summer cleaning.  I think we foodies have to band together to work toward change in this area.

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme.  Click her link to find many other food-related posts and recipes unlike this one which is really just a infomercial about the hazards of processed food.  Stay tuned for fresh spring pesto, freezing leafy green veggies, and the rabbit that ate my garden.


Rachel said...

Thanks for bringing my attention to this book. Sounds like an eye-opening read.

Beth F said...

Oh I'm glad you shared your thoughts on this. I had almost forgotten about this book -- I've been meaning to read it, but now I think I'll get the audiobook. I bet I'll be talking back to my phone too.