Food Manifesto For the Future

previous topic · next topic
Z'sMama

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 280

      quote  
Posted: 02 Feb 2011, 19:41
So New York Times food writer Mark Bittman has given up his recipes column for an opinion column (on the politics of food). His inaugural post is a Food Manifesto for the Future - specifically focused on what Americans should do to "make the growing, preparation and consumption of food healthier, saner, more productive, less damaging and more enduring."

Wonder what folks think? I'm Canadian so I don't really know what your FDA gets up to, but we've got similar problems of our own of course.


k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 03 Feb 2011, 23:08
I agree with all that. I just wonder who will take the initiative on these things. It will only happen if people demand it of our food suppliers.

I especially liked
"Encourage and subsidize home cooking. (Someday soon, I’ll write about my idea for a new Civilian Cooking Corps.) When people cook their own food, they make better choices. When families eat together, they’re more stable. We should provide food education for children (a new form of home ec, anyone?), cooking classes for anyone who wants them and even cooking assistance for those unable to cook for themselves."

And am ready to sign up for this CCC Smile
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
missfortune1...

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 7

      quote  
Posted: 03 Feb 2011, 23:20
I work for the school board in my county.. specifically in a low income area.. I hate to be negative but there is no way they are going to give up to pay for the food costs and teachers costs. Most kids dont get PE more then 1/2 the year and a lot of them get 1.5 meals a day and its at school. They have made such drastic budget cuts, that medical insurance and retirements are being down graded for the teachers.. most havent had a raise in over 5 years. These kids already get food education in school but how do you tell them that they cant eat healthy bc its cheaper and more filling to buy bad food then it is to give them fresh fruit?
triaby

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 321

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2011, 06:32
In the UK we had a chef Jamie Oliver tackle the school food problem - http://www.jamieoliver.com/school-dinners - it was met with a lot of negativity, from the children and would you believe their parents - but I think over the years it has made a huge difference in the food that is served at our schools.....but unfortunately the obesity problem in the UK is still growing....
Tracy

I actually have a body like Cindy Crawford, I just keep it well covered to protect it!

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

♥ I am the captain of my soul ♥


Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.
Ed Endicott

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 140

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2011, 08:00
I agree with Mark Bittman. I also STRONGLY disagree with the comment that bad food is cheaper.

A single banana at a grocery store is between 49 cents and 69 cents. A snicker's bar is 85 cents to 1.25. A bag of chips is at minimum 89 cents.

A glass of water is free. A Diet Coke is anywhere from $1.30 to $1.50 out of a Coke Machine.

It's all a matter of priorities and budgeting time. If you don't have time to cook your own food - it's because you're spending too much time at Doctor's appointments, at pharmacies, at hospitals, or feeling just plain miserable because you haven't made it a priority to watch what you put in your mouth.

I decided to change my life - I no longer drink 5 - 8 Diet Cokes per day, a 6-pack of beer after work, a 12 - 16 oz t-bone for dinner, pay for breakfast at a place that soaks their eggs in butter and salt, or pay for lunch at a place that stuffs you with white bread so you feel satisfied.

Here's the breakdown of what I used to spend before I started examining my diet-

Average Breakfast out - $5.00
Average Lunch out - $13.00 (including tip)
Average Dinner (cooked at home) - $10.00
Daily Diet Cokes - $7.80
Daily Beer - $8.50

Total cost - $44.30

I used to have to set aside $250 per week to be able to sustain myself like that and I did it for a very long time (yes, my next venture is to get finances back in order).

Last Saturday I went to Costco for groceries. I spent $160 including dog food and dog biscuits for the pups. That will last me two weeks.

I also no longer have to take cholesterol medication ($40 per month) and blood pressure medication ($10 per month) and the daily baby aspirin and the CoQ10 my cardiologist recommended.

Eating clean is leading to better financial health as well - my next goal is to set up an emergency fund and to pay off debt so I can live my life stress free.

Don't fall for the excuse that it's cheaper to eat things that are bad for you.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2011, 10:02
Ed Endicott wrote:
I agree with Mark Bittman. I also STRONGLY disagree with the comment that bad food is cheaper.


I agree with this 10,000% The cheapest meal you could get at McDonalds is still 10 times more expensive than my home-made lentil soup. And nowhere near as filling and nutritious.

Yes, the changes Bittman suggests would require someone to take initiative- but that doesn't necessarily mean government. Of course there are many economic problems, now more than ever, but that doesn't mean we should just lay down and accept it. Nothing will ever change unless we, the people, demand change- both with our votes and more importantly, our wallets. And I see nothing wrong with dreaming of the solutions to these problems. The practicality of HOW is a totally different issue. We need to at least know what kind of steps we're aiming for.

There are so many changes we can make in our own lives that will affect the food landscape directly. Whether it's supporting farmer's markets, making the choice to buy more local produce, or turning away from processed foods with chemical ingredients.

I'm looking forward to reading more from him.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
Z'sMama

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 280

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2011, 10:19
Agreed - but you guys are talking about at the individual level. School cafeterias buy all sorts of crappy frozen stuff in mass bulk from corporate suppliers - and bags of frozen veggies for instance are cheaper (and store easily and spoil less quickly) then fresh ones. Of course I'm all for the fresh nutritious stuff, but I think the schools have more challenges than we realize. Which isn't to say we can't figure it out. I saw some of that Jamie Oliver show and thought it was brilliant.
Z'sMama

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 280

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2011, 10:23
I love the idea of a Civilian Cooking Corps by the way ... and wonder if you could work with that idea through existing local soup kitchen facilities, and try and host cooking classes there as well. Try and remove some of the stigma from going to soup kitchens.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2011, 10:31
I love Jamie Oliver too Smile

What do they serve kids these days? Because when I was in school, (graduated high school in 1996) there were choices and they were all pretty much inedible/disgusting. So all the kids would choose the pizza rectangles and fries or tater tots every day. And if you brought your lunch, there was a stigma against it. Nobody wanted to look "weird" you know? I wonder if it's better now, worse, or the same?
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
Z'sMama

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 280

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2011, 10:48
My daughter's in daycare so I don't know for sure - but I've heard people complaining about the pop machines and chip machines in the high schools. Her daycare doesn't have a kitchen and so gets catering, it was pretty crappy food til the parent board stepped in. Now we pay a bit more in monthly fees to get catering from a company called Real Food for Real Kids. They don't do organics (too expensive) but it's mostly locally sourced, fresh and lots of veggies. Still do typical kids' things like hot dogs - but now they are nitrate free chicken wieners. The daycares are really into this now in my city, but I don't know if this has translated to the school cafeterias. When I was a teenager it was exactly how you describe.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2011, 20:10
Sounds like you'll want to pack her lunches when the time comes...

School Lunches and Childhood Obesity
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
Z'sMama

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 280

      quote  
Posted: 05 Feb 2011, 10:01
Tater Tot Day? For real? Jeez.
beets_yum

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 440

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2011, 09:14
Thanks for posting. I was sad to see Bittman was leaving his regular column, but I'm looking forward to this new incarnation. I know he convinced me to try to eat mostly whole grains, beans and veggies during the day. I don't follow his "vegan before six" philosophy all the time but it's something to shoot for. It feels good and makes sense.


Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.
beets_yum

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 440

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2011, 09:21
Just skimmed it and love this:

Quote:
End government subsidies to processed food. We grow more corn for livestock and cars than for humans, and it’s subsidized by more than $3 billion annually; most of it is processed beyond recognition. The story is similar for other crops, including soy: 98 percent of soybean meal becomes livestock feed, while most soybean oil is used in processed foods. Meanwhile, the marketers of the junk food made from these crops receive tax write-offs for the costs of promoting their wares. Total agricultural subsidies in 2009 were around $16 billion, which would pay for a great many of the ideas that follow.


The obscene level of corporate welfare for companies who make crap food should be upsetting to anyone who eats and pays taxes. And don't even get me started on soy...

If we weren't siphoning so much money into these industries, food would get more expensive, i.e., might approach the "real" cost for things like industrially-produced meat and dairy. But it would force suppliers and consumers to make healthier choices.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.
Z'sMama

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 280

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2011, 09:34
Why do marketers of junk food get tax write-offs? I didn't know that til I read this article.
beets_yum

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 440

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2011, 09:48
For the same reason anything happens in this country: they make large political contributions.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2011, 09:49
Yup lobbyists. BTW, I just saw your new picture beets- CONGRATS! Smile
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
mdep1229

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 387

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2011, 10:53
There is so much more than just cooking and food education (although I do like your idea of CCC). Laughing We could talk to people about eating more fresh fruits and veggies till kingdom come and they are not going to do it unless it is available and affordable. Healthier foods appear to be less expensive than junk because most of us have access to grocery stores. I spend about a year working on access to fresh produce in several low-income areas/housing projects where people got most of their food from corners stores (which stock mostly junk, alcohol and cigarettes).

Since most people do not have reliable cars, or a car at all, and most US cities sorely lack decent public transportation, for someone living in one of the housing projects to get to a Super Walmart, she must walk two blocks to get on a train, which takes her to a bus station, get on the bus to Walmart, get off, and walk another block. The entire trip took me 30 to 45 minutes depends on the time of the day (and I walk at a pretty fast pace). Imagine a mother with a couple young children trying to make that trip in weather like today (it was 1 degree when I left home this morning) and how much grocery she can realistically carry home, even with one of those "wheel grocery tote thing" that she can pull. The train and bus fares alone are $8. The obesity rate in these areas are also higher than the state average, and for many of the residents, walking three blocks is a major challenge.

Sometimes some of the corner stores have very limited fresh produce (although I would hesitate to use the word "fresh" ). They get it from other major grocery stores and they must add a mark-up to be profitable. For example, if you and I pay $1.99 for a pound of apples at a Kroger, these stores would have to charge somewhere around $2.69 or more a pound. We (I was working with the city health department and several non-profits) experimented with setting up three corner stores with a produce wholesaler, cutting out the middlemen, thus making the pricing more competitive for these small stores. Initially we also had donations to subsidize the purchase of produce. Being that all three stores are in predominately Spanish speaking neighborhoods, two of the other women in our team are native speakers and I have some basic Spanish from working in South America. We set up cooking demonstration, gave away free samples, etc. While there were some success stories (one little kid came in the store and asked to buy an apple instead of a bag of chips), it has been a long, uphill battle.

Another issue is basic education. When third graders cannot even do simple multiplication, how could they understand nutritional labels, or whether it is more economical to buy two pounds of pasta that serves 16 for $3.19 or a box of hamburger helper for $2.69 that serves 4? At one of the schools, a non-profit worked with the kids and turned a plot of empty ground into a community garden. The kids also run a roadside stand/farmers market on some Sundays to sell some of the things they grow back to the people in the community. In order to make the math easy, we priced everything in increment of 25 cents. Cucumbers were 50 cents each. When someone came up and bought three cucumbers, this third grader could not figured out how much to charge.

We looked into mobile produce vending trucks and it seems to be a viable option for some neighborhoods. The work continues.

I am not trying to poo-poo food education and cooking lessons, I think they are wonderful ideas. We also need, however, improvement in basic education, infrastructure, and public transportation.



Forum Search
Advanced forum search



Latest Posts

Help!
Does any one know how to edit or delete a recipe that entered but I wasn't finished? I also want to edit or delete a recipe that doesn't have the correct servings in it and therefore comes up ...
by Kallau on 12 Jul 14 07:29 PM
snack
Cut a zucchini into thin slices and toss in 1 Tbsp olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 450°F for 25 to 30 minutes. Using paprika not only to flavor this healthy snack, ...
by sandycatiller on 11 Jul 14 05:59 PM
protein pancakes
None of protein pancake recipes I know involve water. Simply mix the protein powder with the eggs and the other ingredients. I suspect the water is the reason that you cannot fry the mixture.
by skinnyzee-01 on 11 Jul 14 05:06 AM
Oranges smell like metal
I had that with tangerines. They smelled like a pine tree. It's the poison they put on fruits to repel insects I think. You just throw it away, better not to eat it.
by snezica on 10 Jul 14 02:11 PM
Lunches
I sympathize with the allergies. Rollups or sandwiches with homemade bean dips add some chopped veggies maybe celery or jicama for a bit of crunch. Cooler with whole grain and bean salads. I had one with ...
by wholefoodnut on 09 Jul 14 05:12 AM