Monday, February 9, 2015

How Can We Get America Cooking Again?

How Can We Get America Cooking Again? Doesn't that sound so -- well, crazy?!? Perhaps many might think so, but really, how could we possibly stray from one of our needs to survive! We can't do it without food after all. And, psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs indicates that the first and most basic need for survival to be met is one that includes food (and water, air and sleep). Okay, so this may be extreme for many simply because many times our immediate needs for survival are met without even thinking about it.

As I'd mentioned before, how many of us have eaten when we are hungry or drink when we are thirsty -- that seems pretty normal and fortunate for those of us that can do just that. But, what about those that can't or find it difficult to eat. Then begs the question -- what kinds of foods are we eating or what kinds of foods do we have access to eating.

We must as a human race eat to survive -- but, the foods we eat are also an essential part of how we survive, grow, and succeed. Our current food system has problems -- we already know this. And, going to fast food restaurants that offer cheap, highly processed and nutritionally poor food like substances isn't the answer either. Yes, bellies will immediately become full -- but, what are the consequences to eating that stuff? Continuous lifestyle behaviors that are damaging and won't contribute to our health in the long run is definitely not good. Hence, why not learn how to cook? Why can't cooking be taught in school again as a regular class and one that is needed in order to survive in the big ol' world that lies ahead for kids once they leave the school "safe place". Reality happens -- period.

On the other hand,  "many of us who do cook do so out of necessity. Making dinner at home is an effective and tangible way to stretch your dollar. It's a practical matter of getting food on the table and feeding yourself and your family, with or without kids. For the more than 17.5 million food insecure households relying on federal or food pantry assistance, cooking is the antidote to a diet of processed foods".

When all is said and done, we need continuous education, collaboration and forward thinking in order to make sustainable changes in our food world that will ultimately affect more than what we put in our bellies. And why not start by adding more nutritious foods in our bellies by starting to cook. As Americans -- if indeed we do live in the "land of plenty", then we also deserve to eat better, be aware of the additives/ingredients that go into our foods and ensure that everyone eats good food that will stave off chronic diseases, don't you think?

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