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Monday, October 15, 2007

Why all the processed food?


photo by john's brain

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I recently read that one in four people eat fast food every single day. Admittedly, I'm not one of those people, but I used to eat much more fast food than I do now. Lunches typically were of the fast food variety and dinner was at a chain restaurant of some sort. For years, that was the typical pattern, and along with a complete lack of exercise, that put about 65 pounds of blubber on me. Since then I've begun to eat healthier, cooking meals most nights of the week and I probably end up in a fast food restaurant once a month.

We have an unlimited source of foods ranging from wholesome to the unhealthy. Why do people choose these frankenfoods over healthier, whole alternatives? Is it the convenience of not having to cook? Is it the wonderful flavor of those processing chemicals? Successful marketing practices by the food companies? Or is it just a habit cultivated by years of doing the same thing over and over? Each of these reasons plays a part, but I think the main reason is simply habit. It's easy to get in a rut and continue eating the same foods without any thought as to why.

This week's challenge is to prepare at least one meal that doesn't come from a box. If you take it out of a package and heat it up in the oven or microwave, it doesn't count. If you regularly cook meals, great, this challenge doesn't apply to you, but the statistics show that few people take the time to prepare healthy meals. <guilt trip>Isn't your family worth the extra effort.</guilt trip>

How often do you cook a meal from scratch?

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