This morning I made breakfast at home!
That statement probably doesn’t excite you, surprise you or even entice you to keep reading. But, stick with me here!
I do this every day (still not shocked yet, I know); it’s not anything gourmet or unique, but it’s filling. I put 1/2 cup of rolled oats (yes, I buy quick-cook most of the time) in a bowl with 3/4 cup of water, microwave this for 1 minute and 20 seconds, let it cool, add in a sliced banana & 1 tbsp of peanut butter.
That doesn’t require a recipe, or even a cohesive thought. The only thing I could do wrong is overcook the oats, and the only thing to be weary of is totally scorching the top my mouth (which I’ve done, many times). This takes two minutes of my time, and cost me approximately $0.33 total. In other words, it’s not only convenient and quick, but it’s also inexpensive and “healthy”.
Obviously this is only one example of a breakfast at home that’s easy, requires minimal time and almost no cooking skills whatsoever. While I ate my breakfast at home, I read the New York Times’ article titled “Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?”.
No, of course it isn’t.
Before your mind jumps to the quick-to-argue comparison of “junk”/fast food vs. organic, the author tackles that rebuttal:
“…food choices are not black and white; the alternative to fast food is not necessarily organic food, any more than the alternative to soda is Bordeaux.
The alternative to soda is water, and the alternative to junk food is not grass-fed beef and greens from a trendy farmers’ market, but anything other than junk food: rice, grains, pasta, beans, fresh vegetables, canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, bread, peanut butter, a thousand other things cooked at home — in almost every case a far superior alternative.”
It is far too often that you read the opinion that we should all be eating organic this and that, or grass-fed animals, or dairy from cows not treated with hormones. While I do agree with all of the above, I also think the first issue to tackle is one of cooking at home.
The following quotes sum up what I think are the most important take-home points:
“Cooking once a week is far better than not cooking at all,” says Marion Nestle, professor of food studies at New York University and author of “What to Eat.”
“If you can drive to McDonald’s you can drive to Safeway.”
“For 50 years, says David A. Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and author of “The End of Overeating,” companies strove to create food that was “energy-dense, highly stimulating, and went down easy. They put it on every street corner and made it mobile, and they made it socially acceptable to eat anytime and anyplace.”
“Once I look at what I’m eating,” says Dr. Kessler, “and realize it’s not food, and I ask ‘what am I doing here?’ that’s the start. It’s not about whether I think it’s good for me, it’s about changing how I feel. And we change how people feel by changing the environment.”
I do realize that the audience here is more likely one that is cooking at home, shopping at nearby grocery store and maybe even buying organic. I know this because I bookmark your recipes, drool over food posts and sometimes wonder how to make meals look more photogenic because I want to post them for you but they don’t look appetizing.
I also know that a lot of you have your own blog, your own voice, and your own way to post about something you care about, like I just did.
In your city, or maybe even neighborhood, you’re very likely to be in the minority. You shop at a local grocery store frequently; your neighbors opt for the closest take-out/fast-food.
Do you know friends who would much rather eat out than in? Who choose this out of convenience, over the “time consuming” home-cooked meal?
(I’m not referring to people who eat out for the experience – we do that almost once a week, too. I love me a good restaurant-style, flavorful meal!)
Yes? Then here’s your challenge – have those friends over for dinner. Host a party! They can bring a bottle of wine, or whatever your drink of choice may be. You cook one of your go-to meals – something easy, colorful, relatively inexpensive (by your own standards (this is your meal), and takes less than an hour to prepare – something they would eat and enjoy, go home and think “I could make that”.
I’m happy to provide meal ideas, recipes, etc. – especially if we’ve got tricky diners on our hands. (Vegetarian Gluten-Free Paleo-Friendly, anyone?)
Are you in?