Society is ever changing. Just one ‘thing’ begins to wane, another ‘thing’ takes it’s place. Cell phones are common place now, computers, reality TV, all things that in the 1970s were either unreachable by the common person or just a pipe dream. Some ‘things’ stay longer than others. Fast food being one of them.
For many decades, fast food as grown from a Saturday date night treat to a provider of breakfast, lunch and supper. More brands and franchise have appeared, some have grown to be part of the biggest companies in the world. If fast food was a drug, there would be a lot of addicts in the world, myself included.
The convenience of fast food is undeniable. Rather than slaving away in a kitchen for hours to cook a meal that will be eaten in less than ten minutes, and that is if you have all the ingredients and don’t have to run out to the store, you can get in your car and in ten minutes be home eating. Why get up to change the channel when you have a remote control in your lap?
If you like a variety of foods, there are a variety of places that will serve what you hunger for. Chinese, Thai, ‘Mexican’, you name it, you can have it quickly and easily. There seems to be no excuse why you can’t eat like this every day. What possible reason could you have for not buying breakfast at Burger King, lunch at Taco Bell and supper at King’s Buffet? I can think of a couple of reasons beyond the obvious smell afterwards.
Money. Yes it is usually more expensive to buy fast food than it would be to make the equivalent meal at home but when buying ingredients, how often can you just buy one burger or 7 hot dogs? You seemingly spend more money in order to save money.
What about the children? If we really are all doing it for the children, what kind of example or lesson are we displaying? It is better to go to McDonald’s than it is to spend an hour in the kitchen as a family cooking? It gets worse than that. How long will it be that children can no longer identify vegetables? How many know what an egg plant looks like now? How long before a carrot is simply something that Bugs Bunny eats?
Are we to blame as parents or it is more wide spread than that? Well if you have children in high school, working towards graduating with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, you may already realise that there is no compulsory cooking classes, nor is physical education compulsory. Think about that for a moment. Children will be leaving school without the basic life skills to feed themselves and without the fitness knowledge to avoid falling into bad habits such as fast food.
Jaime Oliver, celebrity chef, states that all children should be able to cook 12 meals before they leave high school. 12 meals? That is learning one for every year they are in school! How difficult can that be? I mean, even slow adults like myself could learn at least one meal a year. Who is responsible for making this happen though? It isn’t going to be the government, the ministry, or the school boards. It has to come from parents and grand parents.
If not parents, grandparents will have grown up in a world where the kitchen was the busiest room in the house, where families gathered to chat, where on cold nights, all the heat could be found. Grandparents are wonderful things, full of hugs and love, and usually some candy. Imagine that once a month, grannies and children spent a few hours together, older teaching the younger secret family recipes, shopping for ingredients together, learning how to pick the right produce. The parents would enjoy a few hours of quiet and the children would be infused with the experience of being able to cook and then eat a meal.
Even at home, it is much easier to make Mac and Cheese out of a packet rather than baking it in the oven. Less time, less mess, less everything, unfortunately less fun, less knowledge, less family time as well.
What makes this move away from home cooked food ironic is that the new hot social media, Pinterest, where users, apparently mostly women, can ‘pin’ items that interested them, to a board so that others might be able to share in the item. There are many recipes on Pinterest, but how many are actually being made and how many are simply being shared?
12 years, 12 meals. It isn’t brain surgery.