Why should we be making our own food?
Since I moved from Italy to the US twenty years ago, I tried to recreate the flavors that I had left behind. Flavors that were deeply connected to my mom, my childhood, and my memories. Food is the main meme transmitted among Italians. We love spending time at table, while talking about what we’re eating, what we have eaten and what we’re going to eat next. Exchanging recipes is our favorite hobby (also among men), along with sharing food with others as a sign of friendship and love.
Recently my friend Suzanne H., asked me if I had the time to cook when my kids were younger. Of course I did. I always found and find the time for it. Even the night when I was having the first contractions before giving birth to my third child; I was in the kitchen making ricotta and baking bread to be sure to have them available in the next busy days, for the entire family. And after the baby was born, I’d put her in a sling and hang it on my back to have my hands free.
But that question made me think how much, as a parent, you are in charge of your children’s palates and consequently of their health. And that we should start as soon as they are conceived. Don’t you think people have lost most of their sense of taste? Or better, they’ve lost the original sense of taste, looking for sweetness even in salads or in those meals where traditionally there used to be no sugar at all? Sugar is a quite recent introduction in human diet. A century ago, sweet tastes would mainly come from fruit or some vegetables in the form of fructose, which our digestive system was able to metabolize. At that time, refined sugar was rare and sparsely used, expensive and mainly used in special occasions. Unfortunately the Western World has become addicted to sugar, making their brain cheat their body. There are 7 tsp of added sugar in a soda can (almost 10 in a Coke can), 6 tsp in a small low-fat yogurt, there is sugar in ketchup, bologna, pizza, and dressings. Manufacturers use sugar to replace the taste in ‘low fat’ foods so that they seem more healthy, such as fat-free baked goods, which often contain large quantities of added sugar.*
* <According to the endocrinologist Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco “Excessive sugar isn’t just empty calories; it’s toxic. The nephrologist Johnson of the Colorado University, Denver adds”Americans are not fat because they eat too much and exercise too little. But they eat too much and exercise too little because they’re addicted to sugar,which not only makes them fatter but, after the initial sugar rush, also saps their energy, beaching them on the couch watching TV.” >from the National Geographic, August 2013.
The good news? It is never too late to start cutting back in sugar or in any processed foods and feeling the benefits. Start preparing your food, avoid all kind of processed foods, eat whole (fat included) and buy fresh, possibly local food. Be the decision maker in what you put in your body. You have the right to discover the best way to reeducate yourself by taking pleasure and pride in what you make.
I hope my blog will be of help in this process, opening a new door for you guiding you to new and healthier options in an easy and joyful way.