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Thread: Food evolution (bit of a rant and a question) page

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    Primal Pamme's Avatar
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    Food evolution (bit of a rant and a question)

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    My food evolution began long ago when I discovered I could make BBQ sauce that was much better than anything I could buy (unfortunately it isn't paleo). I had to ask myself why I was buying canned spaghetti and pizza sauce or taco mix or anything pre-mixed when I could probably make it better and cheaper myself. Then came gardening and a wonderful husband who was a talented cook. The result is not only wonderful meals, but three adult children who are either foodies or chefs and are slowly becoming convinced that Primal is the way to eat.

    Along the way, Hubby and I realized that one of the most radical things you could do was to grow and cook your own food. When I talk about this with people who are having weight or medical issues and they ask me how I eat, one of their primary reasons for blowing me off is they don't have time to cook. I ask them what else they would be doing with their time? Messing around on the computer or watching TV? They just look at me and say, "Too much work," and walk away.

    Several of us are in Higher Ed. and we are coming across more and more young adults who can't cook. My daughter even discovered that more than a few of the kids in her freshman class weren't even allowed to use the microwave let alone the stove or a knife. How far from primal can you get? We have a community garden at the college and we actually make a point of taking freshmen there to show them where their food comes from. These kids wouldn't know what to do with a garden and stove let alone being dropped in the middle of the wilderness with only a knife and a match. I find this alarming, the garden and stove part, not the knife and match part. Knowing how to cook and grow your own food seems to me to be a necessary skill. Maybe I am wrong.

    The thing about Primal way of life that I find attractive is the necessity of cooking your own food. Was cooking a skill you had to learn? How has it changed your life? Do you feel differently about food?

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    i'm in higher ed too, and i'm taken aback by the students i meet who probably couldn't cook eggs if they tried. some do, and are amazing, but they are usually in culinary or hospitality. and we have some students in agricultural programs who are serious about food, or a few health conscious students...but they are a small minority of the student body.
    this is actually a great programming topic. i'm in a learning center, but we work with res life a lot on certain things. maybe a few transitioning programs would be a worthwhile idea.

    to your question, i was never really taught how to cook, but it came fairly naturally to me. i could watch bits and pieces of others cooking and pick things up. once i got curious enough i started playing around and really stretching what i was willing to try. i appreciate food much much more than i ever did growing up.

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    This is truly maddening.

    When I was growing up, I'd help Mom with cooking just doing minor tasks. She let me use the chef's knife to chop walnuts, and I'd get some easy prep here or there, but once on my own my cooking went to bachelor garbage mode. Long story short, my cooking skills co-evolved with dating my current wife, and to me cooking is a natural: it's relaxing, I get to play with tools and fire, I get to eat what I create. I can understand people who don't want to do complex French Laundry type cooking, but your basic food prep? Come on, idiots!

    BTW, way back when Family and Consumer Sciences was called Home Ec, they actually taught cooking. I was pretty bored with it, but IMO that whole life-skills thing has probably been undermined in today's ed system: budgeting, cooking, basic life triage.

    Cooking is more than just cooking. It's science, it's economics, it's politics, it's aesthetics, it's nutrition, it's survival.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    This is truly maddening.

    When I was growing up, I'd help Mom with cooking just doing minor tasks. She let me use the chef's knife to chop walnuts, and I'd get some easy prep here or there, but once on my own my cooking went to bachelor garbage mode. Long story short, my cooking skills co-evolved with dating my current wife, and to me cooking is a natural: it's relaxing, I get to play with tools and fire, I get to eat what I create. I can understand people who don't want to do complex French Laundry type cooking, but your basic food prep? Come on, idiots!

    BTW, way back when Family and Consumer Sciences was called Home Ec, they actually taught cooking. I was pretty bored with it, but IMO that whole life-skills thing has probably been undermined in today's ed system: budgeting, cooking, basic life triage.

    Cooking is more than just cooking. It's science, it's economics, it's politics, it's aesthetics, it's nutrition, it's survival.
    Science is why I like baking more than cook. I also grew-up in a family that did lots of cooking and baking, and as such, was taught at an early age through participation.
    Most parents these days are usually to busy to cook/bake or don't want to take the time to do it AND we live in a world full of convenience. Even I have to catch myself from just doing it all by myself because I just don't have the time to have the kids help and would rather just 'getter dun'.
    I have made it a priority to make sure that if I'm not around my children will have enough skills that they won't starve. Apparently, not everyone is willing or able to do that.

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    Generally, I think you are right. I mean there are obviously kids who are learning how to garden and cook, but it does seem like it is not as pervasive as it used to be. Somewhere on the internet last week I read an article that discussed familes who are forced to remove their food growing from their yards (the city sends in dozers to raze the beds). What happened to the govt encouraging its citizens to grow Victory gardens? Jaymie Oliver did that show too where he asked children to identify the vegetable that fries come from - and they couldn't id a potato as the source of french fries.

    I am a bit older, and growing up in a working class single parent (mother) home, I was cooking meals for my brother and sister at age 10, when my mother was working the evening shift. Because we didn't have a lot of money we also made bone broths, canned our own vegetables and applesauce (unsweetened too!), bought cows by the half, and froze the lake smelts that my uncle used to bring us.

    Personally, I would like to do more canning.
    Female, age 51, 5' 9"
    SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

    Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
    2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

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    I've never actually purchased a microwave. Any I've had either came with the apt/condo I rented/owned or I just didn't bother. The only thing I ever used them for was reheating stuff and making popcorn - since I don't eat corn anymore, I just don't see the need.

    I left home just under 18 years old. I knew how to make a lot of things, including a rocking lasagna, but had to call my mom once to make sure I understood the basics of roasting a chicken. My boyfriend at the time knew how to cook a little because he lived with his father who worked full time, so he had to learn at least how to make eggs, but those were sexist times, so he didn't know how to create a whole meal, even though his father had to be the mom and dad in his family.

    I kept us going on pasta/sauce/meat, rice/cream of mushroom soup/tuna - casserole things that were cheap, but homey. Soon I improved and my repertoire increased. Stir fries, meat loaves, etc. And always eggs. On a budget, learning/knowing to cook eggs is a must.

    Home-Ec at the time didn't teach me much because we didn't really eat that way in my home. But I learned to make potato soup and an A-line skirt. I thought the boys in shop class learned more useful things - like how to keep a car running.

    I don't know a lot of people under 30, but it dismays me to learn that throughout the decades they've unlearned the basic skill of cooking. Even when I'd serve Hamburger Helper (brown ground beef, add water and contents of box), I felt as if I'd participated in the preparation (and darling first live-in bf would always compliment me on a dinner well-made lol).

    Those days are far behind me, and I'm glad I left home a novice, but not afraid to try. I can't imagine leaving home and not knowing how to "boil water" as the phrase goes. It must be a bit scarey. I hate to say it, but it seems with each passing generation, we let our kids down a little bit more. Hopefully this generation of parents, especially primal and non SADers change that.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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    I started cooking for myself when I was about 15, because my parents figured I was old enough to feed myself when we weren't all eating together. That mostly meant Rice-A-Roni with veggies or Zatarain's Jambalaya with some chicken or sausage. It wasn't till I found Paleo that I discovered my love for cooking. I kinda love being forced to try new things if I want some variety because boxed rice and pasta are no longer options.
    My sister, however, is a pitiful cook. The other day I caught her trying to cook some massive frozen chicken breasts in a pan. They were almost burned on one side, but completely frozen the rest of the way through. I couldn't believe it. She house-sits for me occasionally, and requests that I stock up on things like ramen, mac & cheese, frozen pizzas, hot pockets, and canned soup for her to eat while she's there. I worry because she'll be going off to college soon and can barely cook an egg, so I know her eating habits will only get worse. She's skinny now, but it's going to catch up with her, and that makes me sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Pamme View Post
    Along the way, Hubby and I realized that one of the most radical things you could do was to grow and cook your own food. When I talk about this with people who are having weight or medical issues and they ask me how I eat, one of their primary reasons for blowing me off is they don't have time to cook. I ask them what else they would be doing with their time? Messing around on the computer or watching TV? They just look at me and say, "Too much work," and walk away.
    I used to be one of those people who didn't have "time" to cook. I knew how. I could cook a meal by the time I was 12 years old. Truthfully, what I didn't have was the *energy* to cook, because my schedule is exactly the same now and I haven't made a meal using pre-packaged, processed ingredients in months. We eat out less, because I'm cooking more. Once I really started to care about the quality of the food I was eating and feeding my family, the time to do it appeared out of thin air.

    So I don't think knowing how to cook matters all that much. People who want to cook can learn plenty, online and on television. People who care about the quality of their food will be motivated to learn. People who don't care won't use the skills even if they already have them.
    50yo, 5'3"
    SW-195
    CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

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    Duplicate post
    50yo, 5'3"
    SW-195
    CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

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    I think home-ec is cut out of most schools these days. A lot of kids come to college unable to do laundry. And obviously most young people these days haven't a clue about things like interest, credit cards or basic finance.

    My own mother didn't want us kids to cook. She only let us do dishes. It fostered a hatred of dishes in me. I did get to bake a lot, though.

    The hardest part of primal was learning how to cook meat. I just really didn't know how to do it except for meat you can fry like cut up chicken or hamburgers. I've since learned to cook meat and it's not hard at all. Thank goodness for the Internet. I don't really like to cook complicated things, though. I think simply meals are tastier anyway. If I want fancy cooking I'll go out to a restaurant.

    A lot of schools where I live, especially elementary schools, are really into gardening. I think it helps that the growing season is all during the whole school year where I live. I used to work in mental health in an independent living program. One of my co-workers started a garden for our mentally ill clients to work in. A few of them really loved it. They grew all kinds of vegetables and things. I don't think they ever ate much of it. They preferred cigarettes and coffee to real food.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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