Its. Not. Food.
National Fast Food Day is observed annually on November 16. On this day each year people all across the country celebrate by going through the drive-thru, dining inside or ordering their fast food to go. First popularized in the United States in the 1950’s, fast food is considered any meal with low preparation time and served to a customer in a packaged form for quick dine-in, take-out or take-away and typically with a drive-thru .
Another way to make an excuse to take a breather from the all the difficulty that goes along with actually going to the grocery store, cooking and worst of all… eating healthy foods?
I’m kidding, but it’s not funny.
It’s actually appalling.
How, when and where did we become so disconnected from something so fundamental?
Eating, just as a reminder, is one of our six basic physiological needs , along with other (should-be) non-negotiables such as air, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, and sleep.
Certainly, we also put ourselves in situations where we are also voluntarily not sleeping enough, too.
Sex? Hmm… not my area of expertise so let’s leave that for the moment, and focus on something else.
If we were to think about the importance of eating, nourishing ourselves, to be exact, with the same magnitude as having access to air, would that change how we’d view everything and anything having to do with it?
Because it should.
The less significance we allocate to where our food comes from, how it is prepared and what we’re actually putting in our bodies, not to mention providing for our loved ones, the further we’ll keep perpetuating the state of sickness of our nation as a whole.
How is food something that people forget to buy? Or feel would be too much of a time consuming burden to prepare? What could possibly be more important?
Sure, there are shortcuts and even healthy shortcuts at that; plenty of restaurants have healthy options and for those with the budget, a personal chef or clean food delivery might be an option.
But on a deeper lever, what is it that’s making us feel that this is a corner we can cut?
It, like getting a restful sleep each and every single night, and drinking clean water, should not be something that’s even remotely a topic of conversation.
But it is.
Less than 60 percent of suppers served at home were actually cooked at home last year. Only 30 years ago, the percentage was closer to 75 percent .
A recent survey revealed that 28% of Americans don’t know how to cook; 21% feel they do not have enough time, 25% don’t want to clean up afterwards and finally, many indicated that the time it takes to go grocery shopping is a major impediment.
Again, how can satisfying one of our most basic fundamental needs be seen as something that’s a chore, a pain in the neck that we can just cast aside?
Not enough time?
Then how are we finding 4 hours and 51 minutes in front of a TV screen per day over the last few months, which is what the typical American spent, according to a report from ratings company Nielsen .
At the same time, Eight in 10 Americans report eating at fast-food restaurants at least monthly, with almost half saying they eat fast food at least weekly. Only 4% say they never eat at fast-food restaurants .
Ahem- so why do we exactly need a National Day to encourage or ‘celebrate’ doing something that way too many people are already doing far to often?
Yes, there are extenuating circumstances.
But there are also people who stand out in defeating the odds and make examples of how the time can, and must be found.
How about getting kids involved and making it a family affair, even for those with extremely limited time?
Cooking with Kids is a non-profit, which educates and empowers children and families to make healthy food choices through hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods from diverse cultural tradition. On their site, there is many a testimonial demonstrating families who’ve made cooking and eating well a priority, despite extenuating circumstances including limited time and resources.
And there are also people providing resources, such as Leanne Brown , who wrote Good and Cheap, a cookbook full of recipes anyone could make on a budget of just $4 a day, is free online and has been downloaded over 200,000 times since she posted it on her website in early June?
There’s no way around it; we’ve simply got to take charge of what we’re eating and what we’re feeding our families, where it’s coming from and how it being prepared.
Celebrate by eating real food and skipping the fast junk!