As in, our kids are going up that creek without a paddle.
It’s time for another Ted Talk.
Today is Anna Lappe talking about how the junk food industry is marketing to our kids, and I am horrified.
When I was a kid, fast food was a treat I ate when I was out with one of my aunts for a fun day. It was a pizza when we headed up to the mountains for a day out. It wasn’t part of our every day life.
Neither was junk food. Ice cream sodas were made with a 2 liter bottle of soda and a container of ice cream to celebrate pay day during the summer. Potato chips were served at parties. Sugar cereal, like CocoPuffs, were for dessert, not breakfast.
I learned to cook. My mom taught me, my dad taught me. My aunts taught me. The first thing I remember learning to do in the kitchen ‘by myself’ was to bake chocolate chip cookies, under the strict supervision of my aunts.
Not too long ago I met a young woman in her 20s who was bemoaning the amount of space in her apartment wasted by the kitchen. Because all she really wanted was room for her microwave, coffee maker, and dishwasher. The stove was useless to her. Then she told me her story of the time she tried to bake muffins from scratch. And by scratch what she really meant was a box mix to which she had to add an egg. I can not tell you how horrified I was. I have since met other people who are actually incapable of making a meal out of food. How does this happen?
I think the junk food industry is part of how this happens. They have made themselves so desirable to kids that they don’t really want to eat anything else. They have made themselves so ubiquitous and so fast and easy that it’s harder and harder for parents to say no after a long hard day. And they’ve cheapened the quality of their so-called food that it almost seems a bargain compare to shopping and cooking.
Not that a lot of cooking is better, what with prepared meals and instant this and that.
Junk food, besides being easy and cheap, is addictive. Sugar and trans fats and msg and all manner of non-food flavor enhancers make it tasty in a way that goes straight to your brain. I know from personal experience that anything highly refined is going to hit your brain like a drug and put you in an altered, sleepy state, and when it goes away, you’re going to be cranky and looking for your next fix. Another sugary soda. A Snickers, because the ads say that it will fix you right up. Fat gets the most bad press, but I think the sugar and highly refined and processed flavors are more to blame. I just don’t think there is enough research for research’s sake done on it. Everyone has an agenda these days.
Even me. My agenda is to encourage people to say “how did that happen, and how can I fix it”, whether it be health or apparently training our kids to salivate every time someone sends them a text message.