Food Test: Are You a Part of the Collective Eating Disorder?
When was the last time you sat down to eat without worrying about carbohydrates, fats, or calories? We invite you to take our Ultimate Food test and find out if you are adding to the collective eating disorder in North America.
Ultimate Food Test
- When was the last time you sat down to a special home–cooked meal with your family just because you wanted to?
- Do you believe that some of your first and strongest memories are of food?
- Do you believe the food you serve your family accurately represents your values?
- Do you eat for reasons other than to satisfy hunger?
If you answered “longtime,” “longtime,” “yes,” “no,” and “yes,” you are part of the collective eating disorder in North America. We spend over 4 billion dollars per year on trying to lose weight and avoid food when instead we should focus our energy on learning to enjoy food. We spend millions of dollars developing foods lower in carbohydrates, fat, and sugar so that people can eat just as much, when instead we should learn to eat to satisfy hunger.
We are a species that has evolved to survive starvation, not to resist abundance. Therefore, our body stores excess calories as fat. Our ancestors ate lean animal meat, wild fruits and vegetables, and ate very little sugar or starchy carbohydrates. By contrast, our modern diet is increasingly based on processed foods and on calorie–rich, nutrient–poor refined carbohydrates. Our ancestors ate when food was available. Today, food is everywhere and at such low relative cost that as a nation we can afford to eat too much.
Why are we fat? We eat too many calories and too few fresh foods. We eat when we are not hungry, and we don’t stop eating when we are full. We graze unconsciously all day on refined and processed foods and eat our meals on the go. And most damaging, family mealtime has been crowded out by the demands of daily routines and busy schedules. The result is unstructured days and undisciplined appetites.
What do all National Merit Scholars from the past 20 years have in common?
A recent survey revealed that without exception, the only common trait among all the National Merit Scholars was that they came from families who ate together three or more nights a week. The benefits of family mealtime should not be underestimated. Eating with your children can have a positive effect upon their academic, physical, social, and psychological development.
Mealtimes are one of our oldest rituals. Eating meals together influences development of family communication and traditions and strengthens family bonds. Moreover, it influences character and social development and nutritional intake for the whole family. Children who eat with their parents do better in school and have fewer behavior problems. Teenagers are less apt to use alcohol and drugs. In addition, home–cooked meals usually contain less fat, sugar, and salt and cost less than food prepared outside the home.
How can you make family mealtime happen for your busy family?
Our most basic how–to system for meal planning, whether a simple, everyday meal or a multi–course dinner party, has two main parts: planning and preparation.
Planning and preparation are crucial to a balanced diet. Would you compete in an athletic competition without practicing? Would you take a test at school without studying? Do you think that home–cooked food is effortless? Eating good home cooked food requires a little effort, just like most other rewarding things in life. But preparing meals doesn’t need to consume us. Fresh, high–quality foods lend themselves to simple, quick preparations.
What are our top meal planning strategies?
- Make family mealtime a priority. Choose a meal that will fit everyone‘s schedule. It can be a weekday dinner or Sunday brunch. Communicate the day and time to all family members. Some families may want to write it on the kitchen calendar. If you are too busy for a family meal, you may be too busy.
- Set aside 20 minutes on the weekend to plan your weekday meals. Write down menus. Make a shopping list. Decide what days you can shop. Double recipes and freeze leftovers for another meal.
- Simplify the shopping process. The average supermarket has over 35,000 items, and all that choice creates stress. After stocking your pantry with the basics, spend most of your time on the outside aisles where you will find food in its original form—fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy. Find a few favorite high–quality convenience foods and bypass the thousands of refined and processed foods filled with simple carbohydrates, high fructose corn syrup, salt, and chemical preservatives.
- Buy better quality cuts of meats and poultry. Tenderloins and boneless cuts are easy to prepare and cook, delicious to eat, and make an impressive presentation.
- Master basic cooking techniques that simplify food preparation. Roasting, grilling, sauting, and simmering all lend themselves to easy quick meals in less than 30 minutes.
Source: Flikr user hans
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