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Fresh food vs. Factory Food

 
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 08:47 pm
Here's an interesting graphic from the NY Times about fresh food consumption vs factory food consumption in various countries:
http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/241/04metricsgpopupv2.jpg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 15 • Views: 4,223 • Replies: 37
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hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 09:12 pm
@Robert Gentel,
the actual food eaten matters, but so does the rest of the experience. Americans are also much more likely to eat alone, on the run, rapidly, to snack rather than take meals as regular meal times, skip meals, and to drink high calorie drinks though out the day.....it all adds in to the problem.

I was shocked back in the 90's Germany to find that dinner out routinely took a couple of hours. It was a revelation.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 09:22 pm
@hawkeye10,
I should also point out that eating at most chain restaurants in America means that one is eating factory food. Most chain restaurants no longer cook, they do heat and serve. This is so that they can pay a few people minimum wage in the back rather than pay for a skilled kitchen staff.

Most of the world still cook in their restaurants. This matters.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 09:36 pm
We've largely surrendered control over what we eat.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 09:53 pm
@plainoldme,
Quote:
We've largely surrendered control over what we eat.
we did not care what we ate, we wanted convenience. There is a new wave though, young people are rebelling, many refuse to eat crap.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 04:58 am
@hawkeye10,
There was a recent investigation on eating habits of obese and morbidly obese people in Philly. (Philly had the disticntion of being the fattest town in the US for several years, then it was overtaken and [passed by Boston (I believe),

The foods that were a common member of a fat persons diet in Philly--- FROZEN PIZZA .
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:15 am
@farmerman,
Not Boston, Corpus Christi: http://blog.seattlepi.com/davidnelson/archives/201814.asp
Boston's #52.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:21 am
@Robert Gentel,
Interesting. I'm surprised that Japan has us beat in the processed food category. I'd guess their processed food is healthier than ours, but maybe not.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:49 am
@sozobe,
The blurb Robert posted with the graphs suggests it (Japanese packaged food) IS healthier because a lot of it is seafood and it undergoes little processing.

I have to say I have discovered dehydrated Japanese food. There is a little Japanese food shop locally, and I have adventured with their soups for work lunches. They are ultra-dehydrated, but they are very pleasant and TASTE healthy when one adds water. They seem made of real food! It just looks like they made nice food, and turned it into a little crispy wafer. It is magical how rapidly it changes!

I think their pickles are the main problem in their diet...and salt (from vague memory.)


I can't imagine eating stuff like frozen pizza (or any pizza, really) more than once in a blue moon...but I bet poorer Australians are up there with the USA in eating **** (as our dear departed clown would say).
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:56 am
@dlowan,
I discovered at our local market a Japanese frozen food that is mostly rice and veggies with beef or seafood added. I really like it and after eating one the other day I read the label, It says "serves 3" I have been eating an entire carton as one meal. interesting eh?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:59 am
@dyslexia,
I can often manage a 2 person serve of soup for lunch.....if it's one of the lighter one, but I got one that was SO hearty I couldn't finish one! And man, it had some sort of mutant fibre...I have never felt so clean inside!
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:28 am
@hawkeye10,
Actually, there have been several waves. Baby Boomers were raised by moms who saw the invention of such things as aluminum foil and frozen foods as liberation. All those hippie chicks in the late 60s were reading and cooking from The NY TImes Cookbook, The Joy of Cooking and Julia Child and Irma LAch while obtaining fresh, seasonal food from co-ops.

A friend actually wrote a paper on historical trends in foods and the weaving of convenience with quality in never ending backlashes.

Then there was a slip back to convenience and the reaction in the form of the foodie movement.

BTW, there is a difference between a simple package of frozen peas or corn and peas with a sauce that is microwaved in the plastic bag . . . a 'recipe' for mass suicide if there ever was one.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:47 am
@dlowan,
You're right, I missed the blurb... E.G. brought home a bunch of cool dried stuff when he went to Japan last, it was good. Pretty salty though.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 09:06 am
@sozobe,
Yes...the salt is a worry.
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 11:14 am
@Robert Gentel,
Cool graphic. I might have a use for this...

T
K
O
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 02:39 pm
I am guilty of eating frozen pizzas - and more than a serving at a time. Mostly when I over-eat, though, it's healthier stuff like popcorn or almonds. I like the graphic. It's indicating that Americans eat way more food than anyone else does, yes?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:35 pm
@littlek,
I'm a little on the rad side for an u.s. american in that for various reasons I make close to all my own meals. I take shortcuts, using canned tomatoes for much of the year, herbs and spices in packets from mexico and mexican vanilla in wee bottles; canned beans a lot of the time. Rice in 5 lb bags, when I don't spring for arborio, which, dammit, used to be much cheaper. I do not own a cow or a goat or a sheep, though I've friends/acquaintances who have, so my dairy is packaged.

I've started seriously making my own bread after years of putting it off after learning about no-knead bread. At this point I'm at 66.667% doing my own. But even with that, my yeast comes in a wee packet. I've not yet gotten into letting grapes ferment for the yeast (or something like that/see Nancy Silverton).

The whole local produce thing is fine if you have even a tiny plot in a fertile area, but land space, even balcony space, is a luxury.

I got into the slow food movement by tripping over it, but much as I understand Carlo Petrini, the founder, or one of the founders, it's luxe for me. I liked a recent new yorker article about a restaurant owner in southern turkey who explores widely for old recipes with local plants, and keeps his restaurants in the non chic part of town so it can hover over them as a group.

The problem I run into as a person who is moderately enthusiastic about learning about different produce, is that produce is ramping up in price. I get why, but it is still a problem for me.
I can understand how even people who want to explore vegetables find it easier and cheaper to do carbs.

On pizzas, I make mine, keep a thin crust or try to, don't smother with cheese and may not even use cheese - it could be all caramelized onions - usually a mix, but not a cheese load. Pizza varies and is now tending to be damned for the obnoxious ones.


Enough about me - from the food blogs I follow, I dunno, ninety, I find people very interested in cooking real food and a lot of interest in nutrition. It's an underworld of cooking play with scant intersest in packaged dinners. I'll be bald and guess most of the people on the blogs I follow, if enervated, wan, not wanting to cook, will eat just one good thing, probably a leftover.

So, I don't know. I figure there is ferment going on re what we eat in the u.s.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 06:38 pm
@ossobuco,
I'll add - I'm not sure they're on my list now, but I've followed food bloggers from japan and singapore and india and malaysia. There's a lot of talk going on.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:26 pm
@ossobuco,
What's my point? Maybe the ferment re food making will trickle.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:53 pm
There is an article in the current edition of Saveur that claims that before refrigeration, Americans seldom ate veggies and fruit. Which reminds me, as the school year is nearing its end, in small towns across America, student art is on display in store windows. One kindergarten must have used summer as a theme, because there were teacher written captions on the drawings that seemed to be about picnics, swimming and baseball. One little girl's message was: We don't need coats. Fruit grows.
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