Britain is starting to split into two nations: the ingredient obsessives versus the food ghetto - Kathryn Hughes discusses the differing attitudes to food in the UK.
Seeing as Si and I have just both started to loose weight the slimming world way (it's worked for me when I've stuck to it before, it's just that pie and chips have an attraction that is hard to over come) I found this the article interesting. The medja been very full of this survey that found that British children don't know where their porridge, bacon and eggs come from. It's a bit of a non story in that it comes from a survey done by an organisation "Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF)" who's aim is make us all aware of this, what better way of getting into the news by showing that we don't, allegedly.
I think the real issue isn't not knowing that bacon comes from a pig and beef from a cow it's that many people don't know what to do with it when they have the ingredients when they have them and also people not being able to make healthy choices when it comes to food because they do not have the knowledge to let them do that. To put that right will require education but where from? I've heard it said that's because they don't teach home economics in schools any more but, based on my own experience of HE classes and what I witnessed in school at the time, mid 1980s; when they did do home economics it wasn't much cop. I did it for three years and I don't think we were once asked to made a healthy meal, In my third year they taught us how to prepare ready meals. My mother had a running battle with my brother's HE teacher as the recipes were so poor. A friend who did the course up to O level complained that there was more emphasis on presentation than there was on taste, quality or healthiness. Now I'm a good cook and Simon's a good cook, (our problem is that we both like food a lot and we cook really nice tasting food which we then eat.) We both have mothers who are excellent cooks so we've known what to aim for in terms of excellence and we've also learn about health and quality from them. But my mum says that she because a good cook because her mother was such an awful one. My maternal grandmother was not interested in food at all, it was something you put on the plate to fuel the body, it may have been edible in the strict sense of the word but it didn't taste very nice. I don't think that it's not always true that it's the mother that teaches, actually I'm self taught when comes to cooking I refused to learn at home because I knew that one day I would have to learn to cook so why bother until then, I didn't learn until I went to university which is why I don't do white sauces, didn't get taught, can't be bothered to find out.
But I also think that lack of food knowledge is only part of the problem we also seem to have a very poor attitude to food in this country, we don't appreciate taste, flavours or even presentation it seems that quantity is king we are greedy and we like bulk. We use the excuse of time not to cook, or to prepare something healthy. It is just an excuse and it is a beast that should be slayed. In the length of time it takes to zap your average TV Dinner say 7 minutes, noodles could have been cooked and a minute steak flash fried it doesn't take that long to do, I've never met one of these busy working mothers with not time to cook, I work with busy working mothers and they all do, the only people I have heard say they have no time to cook have been sad sack singles with plenty of time and appalling diets.
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