Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taking Part in a Food Revolution

Do you remember Jamie Oliver's show a couple of years back called Food Revolution? My girls and I loved that show, though Jamie really was pretty much preaching to the choir in our case. That's wonderful news, though, if you've seen the show, know about his mission, and want to change the way America feeds itself. If you don't, check out the TEDtalk he gave the same year his program launched. And even if you saw it back then, it's a terrific reminder of the direction in which we should be moving. After all, this generation of children is expected to live 10 fewer years than we will. And 10% of our health insurance premiums are for diseases caused by obesity. And the top killers, Oliver says, far from the things we fear, such as homicides (which are at the bottom of the list) are actually totally preventable diseases influenced by what we put in our bellies and into the bellies of our growing children.



What to do? Well, there are numerous ideas in the video, but this stay-at-home mom who cooks from scratch for 90% of her meals, now wants to make an even more concerted effort to teach her 12 and 15 year old how to make some of those meals on their own. I've talked about this repeatedly and my girls do know how to make some meals for themselves, but I'd like to see them even more confident in the kitchen. I'd like them to know how to make substitutions when we are out of a particular ingredient, how to make a fresh meal using leftovers, how to pull something together using seemingly disparate ingredients, or what basic ingredients and flavors make a meal italian, mexican, or asian, for example.

I just happen to have girls, but of course, boys need these skills as well. Just think how nice it will be knowing that by the time they get to college or are out on their own, our children won't be having regular dinners of canned spaghetti or boxed pasta, frozen pizza, other frozen dinners or fast-food takeout.

Summer, with it's less-structured schedules and often plaintive cries of, "I'm bored," seems to be the perfect time for greater kitchen instruction. It's on my to-do list. I want to be determined not to let it slide when I'm feeling tired. I wonder if I could set a goal... um, yes I could. ;) Okay, I will set a goal of teaching my girls 5 different meals that they can make this summer. They can choose their favorites and I might even have them learn one of our regulars, like vegan mac and cheese or our super easy veggie chili. Just think of how many night's off of cooking I might gain from this. :) Care to join me?
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