everything old is new again-part III

The last one, phew!

Food

It’s a billion-dollor industry, just from writing about it and advertising it, let alone producing it. I won’t go Food, Inc. here although I’d strongly recommend the movie . One could gain a different perspective, if not a vegetarian lifestyle after seeing it.

I’ll only focus on “everything old is new again” when it comes to kids’ food. Specifically:

– microwaves (and all the things fancy)
– wheat vs. corn

Microwaves

This is a common tool in modern houses but I personally don’t really know why I need it so much. I guess I need it so much because marketers, and psychologists scheming up advertisements, tell us that we need them. Advertising serves one purpose to those who are trying to sell their own product – to convince the buyer that something is wrong with him and his life; that their own product comes to the rescue. Adverts convince you that with the advertised product you’ll become prettier, your laundry whiter, your husband hairier (in the right places!) and that you’ll be rescued – from what? From manually cutting my onions? That you’ll save time – and where am I rushing for?

But people just don’t realise the danger microwaves can pose. Save the details, but I’m not  saying we should all go back to the cave either. I’m saying things like microwaves create an attitude and build a particular lifestyle. The faster the microwave warms up our food the faster we eat it. The faster things become with everything else the less time we spend reflecting on what is happening to us. Life passes us by in a microwave mode. We rush in to get the food warmed up and the spared time we end up spending on rushing into doing other things. Do we actually have fun in this constant marathon? And what about my kids and your kids? Do we want them to be pressured with lack of time and solving that by means of microwaves and electrical knives and pre-packed junk food?

Wheat vs. corn

About 85% of corn in America is modified. Corn starch is one of the most diverse items in the world. They even make batteries out of it (see Food, Inc. or check food labels). It’s one of the cheapest products to produce. Corn grows fast and it doesn’t require much. Have you been around Illinois? Flat plains, corn growing like an Amazon forestation. They should change the state’s name to Corninois. Corn, however, has one little detail about its nutritious value that many people who stuff themselves with Doritos and juices, don’t know. Or maybe they do but have good genes. Corn blows you up like a Christmas turkey. Every time I visit relatives in the States I watch what I eat. I work out. I don’t snack. Yet, I mysteriously add unfair amount of kilos and I wonder, from what??? The air? Maybe they actually managed to add corn starch into the oxygen. A glass of juice for breakfast, 5 mile run, salad and a piece of grilled meat for lunch, fish and salad for dinner, or veggie soup. How can you put on weight from that? I eat 200 g of chocolate in Europe (where I live) after 9pm and a rump steak with fries, and never go up a size? And when my mom pulled me over one day – still in the States that is – she showed me the labels. Even the bloody salad had corn-starch. For what? Because they have extra and didn’t know where to shove it in? Where I come from we feed the pigs with corn. I’m not raising any piglets in my house, and I read the labels before stuffing my kids with anything. I’d give them a Lindt or a Cadbury (the ones made in Europe, though!) – who cares, a cavity, we’ll fix it – but won’t go for the Oreos. Not ever.

Wheat on the other hand contains vital vitamins, minerals, and proteins. See for yourselves. Corn, and the table below is for naturally produced one – to put it fancily “organic”. Modified corn would probably contain different components.

Component per 100g portion Corn Wheat
Water 76 11
Energy 360 1419
Protein 3.2 13.7
Fat 1.18 2.47
Carbs 19 71
Sugar 3.22 0
Calcium 2 34
Iron 0.52 34
Magnesium 37 144

White, wheat bread is a balm to the brain. I’d give my kids a simple porridge for breakfast – butter, fetta cheese, goat’s milk and wheat bread. An apple or grapes for a snack. Simple. No pre-packed stuff, no adhesives, no microwave heating. The results to that? We’ll see at the end. Although, my kids tend to be the most energetic ones in the park. My son speaks two languages and is not even 3 yet. He recites nursery rhymes and poems in each language and his teachers tell me that “you can carry a normal conversation like you’re speaking to an adult” with him. Yes, it’s not just the food, but food is a key ingredient. More importantly, sticking to the old way – the simple, the “organic” way – I believe it builds my kids into strong, bright, and healthy people.

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