>A Conviction [in a bowl of Vegetable Soup]

>My wife and I have been on a kick of sorts… watching Jamie Oliver’s: “Food Revolution”.
Jamie is an English chef who is more so an advocate than famous TV chef personality.
But, it is what it is.

Jamie completely revolutionized the school lunch menu in England. This show, he sets out to do the same here, in the US.
I absolutely love this show and without a doubt, support what he’s doing.
His current “revolution” is taking place in Huntington, West Virginia. The nation’s most overweight city. [As they correlate Gov’t statistics to death by heart disease, diabetes, etc..]

And, it is, absolutely heartbreaking. Hearing children’s stories of their parents dying due to weight related issues. It is, most definitely, a silent killer.
Now, I’m not one to always advocate for healthy foods or alternatives.
I love starches. Pork fat is amazing and Coca-Cola may be the nectar of the gods.
But, these things are generally not so good. Nothing new there.

Also I want to say, it’s good to eat starches and some fats in good moderation. Our bodies need what the earth produces. [They just don’t need it all.]
I’m writing all this to express my own convictions of our food culture…especially in our schools and what we don’t know is feeding our kids.

There are strict rules and regulations school cafeterias have to follow. There has to be a certain amount of veggies and fruit and bread. Most often, these veggies are french fries and terrible looking salad creations we all know, we won’t eat.
Milk is generally chosen in its most chocolate flavored form, which tends to have the same or more sugar than soda!

And understandably so, we cook food for those kiddies out of convenience with what’s easy to cook and easy to serve. But, this “stuff” is killing younger generations — it’s killing our generation. I mean, who doesn’t want to stand in the french fry line?
Kids are not being taught what food is and where it comes from. I wasn’t taught in school – I didn’t know the difference between a potato and a tomato when I was in first grade.
Teachers these days have such strict material matter they can teach in order to make high on those state tests – no wonder they don’t have the freedom to teach kiddies about food and how it helps them to grow. (Or, if you’re a teacher and you are doing this, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.)

I am becoming an advocate for food knowledge. As my palate shifts from salty and greasy, to bright greens, reds and earthy browns, I sense a shift in our view of food culture.
I recently took a culinary knife skills class – just cutting up veggies in different ways and at the end, we made a veggie soup out of our hacked up goodness.

Now, maybe it had just been a while since I had veggie soup, but it hit my soul [real good]. Simple, delicious and so good for you.
And there, as I was slurping up that heavenly broth and soft vegetation, I understood what it meant.
It’s about outlook.
Veggies are like…the math of the food world. It’s great and necessary and all, but most of the time, intimidating and we tend to see them as…not very good. [At least in US culture.]

At least, I did. And, still do, most of the time.
But, I’m learning.
Learning to uh, “Eat those vegetables!”

Because something needs to change. Somehow…we need to shift how we grow up eating food. And I do know that some economic and lifestyle circumstances hinder us from eating fresh food, but not if we all demanded it. The people in those big white buildings make a living off of us and will shift towards what we buy and demand.

If we want crap food, that’s what we’re going to get…and boy, are we getting it.
Limit choices. I feel like, if you put a piece of pizza or a piece of baked chicken in front of a little kid, they’re probably going to go for the pizza.
If only we knew how privileged we were to have more than one choice.

As I learn more and more about what food does to my body, the more my views shift on what food means to me. It changes the way I cook food…and my thirst to learn more.
This food we’re pumping into our bodies is so..so important. And I speak more so to myself, than anyone else, that something needs to change in our diets. Or else, we’re going to be seeing a lot less life…and it may be yours.

So, here’s to a good conviction, in a bowl of soup…that we work for that change. May we stand in our kitchens and cook our own food and give a deep thanks to this earth that gives it to us; the farmers that nurtured them and the folks of many miles who handled them. Eat more local. Think more sustainable.

And uh,
EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!!!

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One response

  1. >Really enjoy your work. Being southern is all about eating fresh ingredients, and supporting the locals who have grown and prepared it. Need to return to the old fashion culture of fresh natural loving ingredients. Keep up the good work. – The Hungry Southernerhttp://TheHungrySoutherner.com

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