Do No HarmJanuary 16, 2006
Since I am sick today (figured out, we all have the flu…the real flu, not the stomach flu…)…anyways, my mind started thinking randomly about some things, one of them being the food industry and the responsibility it has to bring healthy food to its consumers.
50 years ago…I am just going back that far because it seems that it was around that time boxed foods and the food industry just started developing. Before that time you pretty much bought whole products, like meat, fruits, veggies, flour (yes I know it is processed) and made your own foods. My grandmother, 80 years ago did not go to the store and pick up a tv dinner. Americans were thinner and people of those time lived to be in their 90’s (or atleast in my family.)
Today, there is fast food at every corner of town and there are store shelves lined with foods to make our lives easier. Easier, meaning we aren’t spending the whole day cooking for are families so they can have nutritious meals. We need fast, like 20 to 30 minute meals. Sometimes we can do 60 minute meals, if we don’t have to stand in the kitchen that long. The food industry has pretty much accomodated us accordingly and I swear to them, quicker is better, regardless what is in it.
The generations of knowing how to cook and what is healthy to eat are getting older and the younger generations are walking into stores expecting to pick up a box of something with a side of chicken and expect it is healthy for you. You take it home, cook it for your family and then realize one day the stuff you have been cooking over and over is terrible for you. It is high in sodium, it is overly processed and has bad things in it that mix in your body to make really bad fats. We as consumers are getting fatter and I don’t see much move in the food industry to be responsible in creating healthy balanced (and fast) meals.
Now, I am not saying that I am not responsible for cooking healthy for my family. I am just saying that everwhere you look it is bad, bad, bad. Let’s just say there are 25 restaurants that surround my house (within 5 miles.) If I walked into any of those restaurants, how healthy will I be eating? Even the step above fast food restaurants are pretty unhealthy, I am talking about Red Robins, Chilli’s, or Applebees…,granted Applebees does have some weight watcher items on the menu it still isn’t uber-healthy. Just because it says weight watchers doesn’t mean it is healthy for you. Oreos are on the weight watchers diet, did you know that? Weight watchers is portion control. However, Oreos cannot be good for you. They are super processed with junk that did not exist in our diets over 60 years ago.
Who is going to be the person that gets rich off of providing healthy (not diet fad) food? Who will be the first Healthy Fast food alternative? I am talking drive thru and EVERYTHING on the menu is healthy, good for you, and is a balanced meal. I would definately drive thru…even if it tasted like card board (which is funny because rarely does real food taste like cardboard…it is the real stuff.)
There are so many times I am rushing the kids around and think to myself, I wish McDonalds wasn’t so unhealthy. Yes, I do swap the french fries for the apples in the kids meals. Still, the nuggets are so bad, ever seen SupersizeMe?
There are some nights my mom will call and ask me what I cooked the kids for dinner. These are nights we ate whole grain crackers, cheese, apples, and carrots. What? It is balanced. So, it isn’t your average dinner. What is an average dinner? Honestly, what do you do when you are rushing around town and are looking for something healthy for dinner. When you run home to cook a quick meal, what is it?
On Friday I go into my new doctor to discuss my health. The first topic we will discuss will be my weight. I already know my downfall and that is not knowing enough healthy well balanced meals to cook that are easy and cheap and also not eating enough food earlier in the day and then by the evening I am starving and eat too much bad food. It is this time that a hamburger is okay in my book because I starved all day….not so good. It is at this time I will give him my, “I am trying look”…and then ask him for suggestions at which time he will tell me:
Eat less carbs, more protein and ______this many calories. On paper it seems so easy. I guess I will have to use my sarcasm (defense mechanism) and tell my new doctor that I have strategically readied my body for famine…
It is my responsibility to take care of my body and to eat healthy and to provide healthy food for my family. However, think about this….it is the resposibility of medicine to pretty much Do No Harm. Is it really asking that much to have the food industry take on that same responsibility? After all, it is the food industry that is nourishing our nation.