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Thursday, 13 December 2007

Home spun food.

Back in the days when my grandma was alive food tasted so much better then the current offerings around. Even so called 'fresh' food tatses nothing like it used to do. Fair comment in that over the years smoking, first tipped cigarettes, then untipped, then a pipe intermixed with the odd cigar, all change ones taste buds but the food of today most certainly is different taste wise. Even 'organic', whatever that term implies, food.

My Grandma had her own vegetable plot in her backyard within which she grew all manner of vegetables as well as rhubarb and a greenhouse for her tomatoes. When anything was ready she would pluck them out of the ground and prepare for us the most wonderfully tasting food I have ever eaten. Granted I was but a mere youth back then, around the 1970's, but even so I can still taste that food in my mind that she served up and it was truly wonderful. Granted my Grandma was a truly wonderful cook who learnt her trade cooking and serving in an officers mess but I doubt even her cooking skills could hide bad or unfresh food.

Bounce forward several years and the food, even so called fresh and organic food, tastes, at best bland and at worse awful. Nothing at all like what the food is supposed to taste like. I think it is shame that we have several generations who have been brought up on supermarket fresh food which is anything but.

My wife is a truly wonderful cook. Considering her age at the time of writing and the fact she had no formal training in the art of cooking the fact that she can cook to an impressive standard is somewhat unusual in this day and age. She seeks out only vegetables grown locally which do retain some, but not all, of the flavour I remember from my youth. She has a nose and eye for vegetables that are seemingly not right.

Modern cooks in your everyday housing estate, holed up in flats (apartments to our American cousins across the pond) and around suburbia across the length and breadth of this once fine but still proud nation buy and eat processed and frozen food. Freezer food like packet beef, frozen chips, beef burgers, fish fingers anything and everything that can be stored in a freezer or fridge are part and parcel of everyday meals not just for the adults but for their children too. This sends out all the wrong messages about what is good and what is not. Sure, some frozen food stuff is good and more and more of it hasn't got those 'E' additives and other preservatives but to eat that stuff day in and day is just plain wrong. Not just from the point of view of cooking and eating it but from the point of view on ones health. Yes, eating all that pre-processed and packaged food takes a toll on ones health and general well being. No matter how much exercise one does in a day eating that kind of food will undo all the good the exercise does for your body.

I have been lucky in that my Mother cooked fresh, natural food stuffs as did my GrandMa. My first wife could burn cornflakes but by that time of my life I could cook as good as my Mother could. Having been trained in the art of cooking by both my Mother and GrandMa. Even though I was working 10 hour days, 6am to 4pm, I used to come home and start cooking simply because my first wife was so bad at it. After some 15 years of this arrangement my first wife and I split up. I met my second wife who had learnt her cooking skills from her military trained as a cook Father. She is an excellent cook who would rather spend 3 hours preparing the meal than be content with a 20 minute frozen food knock up. Apart from the period with my first wife, and even then I had naturally grown food food stuffs and fresh meat.

All this has meant that my body is generally healthy. Sure I have major arthritis everywhere but the other aspects that make up ones body health are as good as they can be. I believe this i down to not eating any old frozen crap during my almost 50 years on this fragile planet we like to call home.

Sadly, from a cost perspective, todays markets put a premium on so labled healthy, fresh vegetables but for me that premium is well worth the extra cost to the weekly or monthly veggie household costs. I strongly believe that the government can play a role in getting this once healthy nation back on track by doing a blanket advertisement stating all the benefits fresh fruit and vegetables give over their frozen food equivalents.

Get with the program folks and you will feel the benefit within a year of changing. Your children will thank you in years to come as they grow into adults and are feeling great in themselves.

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