I really need to be more attentive of this site.
We are what we eat - so the saying goes.
Ain't it the truth.
Americans cram pounds of crap down their gullets every day and spend billions trying to get rid of said crap after the fact. We want it fried, dried, fresh or frozen, packed with sugar, racked with salt, high fat, high carb, low fat, low carb, boiled and baked, covered in sauce, bathed in glaze, roasted, toasted, basted, tasted, leftovers wasted, extra foam, no room, skimmed, trimmed, take out the fat, heavy on the cream...three times a day.
We're fat. We're lazy. We love to tell our kids to eat their vegetables then give them a Big Mac 'cause we haven't got time for dinner. Our refridgerators hold six condiments, leftover Chinese, something brown, and a box of baking soda. We haven't a clue.
A single blueberry has all the natural ingredients to save our bacon but we add 2 grams of sugar, 8 grams of fat, dress it up like a work of art, give it a $13.00 price tag and call it dessert.
We give billions of dollars to people to tell us this and make us do something about it. They bend us, break us, pull our muscles, bruise our egos, take us to task, lift that bale, tote that barge, give me $800, now you're in shape.
We live in front of a box of shiny lights that sucks the imagination out of us like a puddle evaporating in the sun. It tells us what crap to buy, what to look for, what is in and what is out. It tells about a new gooey bar of processed sugar and fat that has more unpronouncable ingredients than a medical research project that's just waiting for your gluttonous consumption.
Whole industries have sprung up in the last 50 years that serve no purpose but to fill our arteries with cement. We spend decades of time and millions of dollars to break our bodies down then lament the high cost of fixing them up. No one wants to see to the root of the problem - no, that would be sacrilege. Thou shalt not bite the hand that feeds you this crap. We are a gloriously Capitalist Society and, God willing, will stay that way through every coronary bypass, diabetic coma, liver transplant and 31 flavors of cancer treatments.
And God help us if we run into those who've taken the pledge. Instead of going after the root cause of our food calamity - over-processing - they select certain types of food to rail against. No meat, no fish, no sugar, no milk, no eggs, no carbs, no fat, no dairy, no calories, no way, no how, no left turn, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.
Vegetables are a vital form of food, one that should be on every table at every meal. But so are meat or fish. The answer is not exclusion of food but balance and moderation. We have to re-learn to prepare our own food in a way that's healthy. Make the time to fix your own damn food. Take the time to feed your children what they need. Give them a reason to eat healthier. Fill them full of nothing but sugar and fat and you make them dependant on that crap like an alcoholic. Fast food is a multi-billion dollar industry because we are too damn lazy to cook the good stuff. Convenience has replaced responsibility. Parents would rather spend 30 minutes and $50 on fat, salty crap then spend $20 and an hour to feed their family a healthy meal.
Long ago we sat at the dinner table and ate like families. We prepared the food, set the table, got all the kids together with Mom and Dad and ate as a family. We discussed the day, asked each other about this or that, got kudos for the good stuff, got reamed for the bad; we saw each other as part of something wonderful. If someone was absent, they had their dinner set aside for their return - provided it was an acceptable reason. Screwing around with friends was not a good reason so no dinner was saved. There was a price to pay for missing dinner. No one could raid the fridge for goodies later, dessert was earned by good behavior not provided pro bono.
But we put all that aside. We enrolled our kids in soccer and ballet and baseball and softball and tae kuan do and boy scouts or brownies or any of dozens of other afterschool activities. Not just one though, we signed them up for two or three sports just to keep them busy so we could work longer at the office, see the girls at the club or finalize the sale of the Johnson house. We have to make an appointment to see the kids or our spouses. Every family member is glued to the cell phone or the blackberry, twittering, texting or talking to a spider's web network of other mindless robots, grabbing a quick bite at Mickie D's or Jack in the Box before heading out to the Mall. Even when we finally get back to the homestead, we plop our butts in front of the Shiny Box to watch the latest and greatest dreck ever conceived by demented minds about something called 'reality' that has no connection to the actual word just a distorted play on semantics about worthless pathetic victims of their own greed and gluttony.
We no longer use the dinner table to sit and eat. We use it to organize our bills, put the laptop down to work, or kept nice and clean with place settings of sparkling dishes in stylish colors that will never be obscured by gravy or spaghetti sauce. We eat standing up, staring zombie-like into dead space while talking into an electronic cockroach attached to our ear. Family members with white strings coming out the sides of their heads run in and out of the kitchen oblivious to everything except the sugary sodas in the fridge or the chocolaty sludge bars in the cupboard. Dinner isn't roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans; it's a chili cheese burrito fresh out of the microwave with a Coke and a Ho-Ho.
We talk about change. We talk about doing what's right. We talk, talk, talk, talk until we can't speak any more. But we don't do.
Eat your own food. Drink real water. Buy fresh. Grow it yourself. Let your belly do all the processing. Spend your time with the kids at the park with frisbees, a ball and glove, or a volleyball. Eat dinner at the table then see a movie. The television isn't a lamp. Talk about what's on TV then decide if it's worth turning it on.
Get to know members of your family, I hear they're kinda cool.
Update: I posted this as a diary on the Daily Kos to see what response I would get. It only got about 3 feet from the line of scrimmage... Oh, well. So much for fame and fortune! I'll stick to my own neighborhood for now.
So Mote It Be,