Thursday, November 12, 2009


Mike (my boyfriend for those not in the know) likes to cook.  I mean he really likes to cook.  Since moving to the UK, and being without a job at the moment, Mike has taken up cooking as a past time.  Recipes taken from Gordon Ramsey (right) and Jamie Oliver (below), along with a bit imagination has made Mike a wizard in the kitchen (and it leaves me time to do work).  It also helps cut costs as we hardly go out to eat anymore and its been helping me drop this excess weight in preparation for the half marathon.

Honestly, I didn't even think food was something worth even writing about until a trip to the local Tesco this past Sunday.  That day we made our way to the store after a failed attempt at swimming in the local pool (damn families with their bazillion kids hogging all the flippin lanes, but I digress...). Mike wanted to make homemade wheat bread  and meat lasagna that day.  I was to bake a whole chicken and have a side of broccoli.  Good food, but nothing that shouts WOW (well the food was pretty damn good so a little wow might be in order).  While checking out the cashier made a comment that it was nice to see people buying real food, as most who come through her lines either have ready made meals or boxed goods.  This made me stop and think.  How come in a grocery store, with fresh produce and proteins, is it becoming a rarity to see people buying "real food"?

So when we got home I pulled out all the stuff we bought from the store and laid on the counter to see what was so mysterious about our food selection. 

My conclusion: nothing really.  It's just food.  For about $130.00 USD we were able to get enough things to last us for up to two weeks, minus veggies which last only about 5-7 days before we have to restock.  Now, I hear the argument that buying food like this is expensive, but that is bullshit.  When you add up the prepackaged meals, the take-aways, and the boxed goods many times you end up spending more money because you are still hungry due to the lack of nutrients.  Or, you hear people say they don't have time, but the same people seem to have time for the pub, tv, or to just sit around and bitch about how much time they don't have.  I use to do this, and this is what allowed me to get into a routine of binging, not working out, drinking, bitching about feeling fat, repeat.  When I would look at my bank account I wondered where all my money had gone - one day I realized, sadly, that is was mainly me going to restaurants and take-away shops.

Now some of you may be saying to yourself "Well in America we have the big fast food companies to blame with their advertisements and locations in disadvantaged areas that is causing a rise in obesity."  If you are saying that I would agree with you to an extent.  It is big business and in a capitalist system business tends to win, many times over basic ethical and moral concerns.  But, I think it goes a bit beyond that.  In the UK the idea of drive-through is not there because there is no space. Simple, so you think that their obesity rates are lower.  BUT, they aren't that much lower because instead of the McDonalds or KFC on ever corner you have Kebab shops, pizza joints, and Indian take-aways that are all open late for the "after pub" crowd, and they are cheap.  Liquor + cheap take away food on every corner = a growing epidemic of overweight unhealthy populations.  So it goes back the beginning of my post of why, as people, are we reluctant to eat real food anymore?

If you look behind the smoke and mirrors of all the weight loss shows, infomercials, diet books, tabloid coverage of celebrity weight loss/gain it  comes down to humans renegotiating our relationship with food.   Of course many may, and will, find holes in my theory, but I think when we find it "abnormal", or label people "snotty" or "pretentious", to buy fresh fruits, veggies, and meats then there is a problem.  When I was growing up we did not have a lot of money, but we ate mostly real food.   Now, I didn't understand the idea of portion control and balancing my plate, but overall it was real food.  When you are feeding a large family on little money my parents realized buying a few pounds of dried beans and a large sack of rice was more filling, more nutritious, and least expensive then sending the family down to McDonalds for a Big Mac with fries.  As a society were are now over-educated in some respects about food, and at the same time ignorant on basic facts about nutrition.  Maybe this is the new revolutionary idea that the young generation takes up on its quest to be an "eco-friendly green planet."  I don't know, but next time you reach for that packaged meal or that easy take-away snack ask yourself if you can wait till you go home and make yourself a proper meal.


Meg said...

AND I might add, it's so scary bringing a kid up in a society that doesn't eat or value REAL food...Leaf doesn't even really eat solids yet and I've already had to intercept attempts by others to give him (without asking me) chocolate ice cream, a lick of movie theater buttered popcorn, nasty greasy salty restaurant soup, and a disgusting processed artificially flavored yogurt. I guess it's normal to start kids right off the bat with fake processed unhealthy garbage b/c that's what we as a society eat for "food" and consider "normal."

Celeste said...

yes! *stuffs face with cookies*

Nicole said...

You're an ass Celeste