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Food--Is this a sign of the times?

L

laurac260

I teach a 2nd grade science class as part of the homeschool group my kids and I are in. I recently asked them to bring pictures of food in. I thought I'd wait till I get the pictures, then decide what we might do with them.

I just gathered the pictures together to look thru them. As someone who loves food, whole, fresh, food, I was so disappointed to find not one picture of an apple, a banana, anything that resembled something that came from the earth. Every picture was something in a box, of from a fast food joint. :bawl:

This saddens me that we are raising a generation of kids who don't know what real food is, or atleast, that cannot find a picture of real food in any magazine of publication they look thru.
 

Passepartout

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Laura, young people today don't cook. Food comes from boxes or is bought 'out'. With luck, occasionally some is brought home, already prepared, to share as a family, around a table, but often, even this small gesture ends up being delivery pizza in front of the TV.

Those of us who grew up with a parent at home, or learned to cook from a grandmother (thank goodness I didn't- she'd ruin boiled water) are appalled by deli's getting bigger, and produce stalls shrinking.

I blame the necessity of 2 (or more) incomes to make ends meet. There are just not enough hours in a day for all parents to commute, earn a living, hunt/gather groceries, plan nutritious meals and prepare them. It's just today's reality for the majority of people.

Jim
 

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Ask them where milk comes from and see if they answer from a cow or from the store.
 

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if the assignment was just "pictures of food" then you get what you get. Ask next for pictures of NUTRITIOUS FOOD and see how much MORE appalled you can get!!! Egg McMuffin was ranked as healthiest fast food breakfast but that doesn't make it healthy!

You can change things for these kids; I like what you said about nothing "from the earth" and some kids just don't know because they are not involved in food selection, purchase, prep, or anything other than ordering into clown's mouth. Most don't go outside much, so working the dirt, planting things, it's not happening.

There are definitely pictures of real food to be found. Maybe not in kiddie mags, however.
 

ScoopLV

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And yet, I have access to better quality food right now, than at any time in my life.

It is a great time to be a foodie in America. I can go shopping right now and come home with Devonshire double cream, USDA Prime short ribs from a local ranch, potatoes and vegetables from the local orchard, Italian Parma butter (google Delitia Parmigiano-Reggiano Butter), black winter truffles, artisan cheese and locally produced wine. Then I can go home and make something extraordinary in my kitchen.

So, there's obviously a LOT of people like me, otherwise none of this stuff would be available for sale. When I was growing up, nobody sold any of the above. We were lucky to get cheese that didn't say "Velveeta" on the package.

Find a better circle of acquaintances. People who don't feed their family Happy Meals and Hot Pockets. They're out there, obviously.
 

vacationhopeful

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My one nephew when almost 5 yo LOVED cherry tomatos. He would eat the whole container from the store by himself. He came to stay for almost a week at my house and I introduced him to my vegetable garden (including my 4 oversized cherry tomato plants). I picked a couple and said, "here, try this cherry tomato". He refused. I did this several times during the week and saying "yum". He was scared stiff. He did help me pick the ripe ones.

When I dropped him off at his house several hours away, I gave my sister 2 big store plastic bags of the cherry tomatoes. She washed them and put them into her refrigerator in a big container. He open the refrigerator and said, "Mom you got me cherry tomatoes!" and proceded to pig out on them while proclaiming them to be the best. She told him I had brought them to her and they were from my garden. And that he had helped to pick them.

From then on, he has eaten cherry tomatoes off the bushes also. :D

And he loves to help in the garden.

PS Ask how I got him to eat eggplant. :hysterical:
 

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I'm not sure I'd put too much weight in what pictures kids bring in. While I do agree that there's not near enough emphasis on "real" food and homecooked meals, the exercise itself perhaps only indicates that it's easier to find a picture of a Big Mac than it is to find a picure of a banana. How many print ads do you see for bananas relative to ads for fast food? Furthermore, most people (especially kids) would be prone to bringing in pictures of food they like, and for kids that's hamburgers and pizza. That doesn't mean they aren't eating apples and bananas, it just means they aren't at the top of their list. No surprise there.

What I'm getting at is that our family seldom eats fast, frozen, canned, or otherwise prepared food, and we cook almost every meal we eat. But if I gave my kids that assignment, I bet they'd grab the Sunday newspaper inserts and clip the first picture of a Big Mac/Whopper or Pizza Hut/Dominos/Papa John's pizza that they found.
 

ampaholic

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I'm not sure I'd put too much weight in what pictures kids bring in. While I do agree that there's not near enough emphasis on "real" food and homecooked meals, the exercise itself perhaps only indicates that it's easier to find a picture of a Big Mac than it is to find a picure of a banana. How many print ads do you see for bananas relative to ads for fast food? Furthermore, most people (especially kids) would be prone to bringing in pictures of food they like, and for kids that's hamburgers and pizza. That doesn't mean they aren't eating apples and bananas, it just means they aren't at the top of their list. No surprise there.

What I'm getting at is that our family seldom eats fast, frozen, canned, or otherwise prepared food, and we cook almost every meal we eat. But if I gave my kids that assignment, I bet they'd grab the Sunday newspaper inserts and clip the first picture of a Big Mac/Whopper or Pizza Hut/Dominos/Papa John's pizza that they found.
Agreed - a science teacher should consider the source of her sample before declaring it "good" data.

Ask them to bring in pictures of heroes and see how many cartoons you get of fictional persona - then ask for photographs of real life heroes.

Linda - how did you get him eating eggplant?
 
L

laurac260

I'm not sure I'd put too much weight in what pictures kids bring in. While I do agree that there's not near enough emphasis on "real" food and homecooked meals, the exercise itself perhaps only indicates that it's easier to find a picture of a Big Mac than it is to find a picure of a banana. How many print ads do you see for bananas relative to ads for fast food? Furthermore, most people (especially kids) would be prone to bringing in pictures of food they like, and for kids that's hamburgers and pizza. That doesn't mean they aren't eating apples and bananas, it just means they aren't at the top of their list. No surprise there.

What I'm getting at is that our family seldom eats fast, frozen, canned, or otherwise prepared food, and we cook almost every meal we eat. But if I gave my kids that assignment, I bet they'd grab the Sunday newspaper inserts and clip the first picture of a Big Mac/Whopper or Pizza Hut/Dominos/Papa John's pizza that they found.
Oh, I don't blame the kids. The part I left out was that it was another mom/teacher who gave them stuff to cut out. Not sure where she got the pictures, some of them looked like ads/coupons. I don't want to offend any of the moms (some of whom sit in my classroom as I teach), but the class is science, and the subject matter is nutrition. So I try to explain about healthy foods, and try to steer away from an indepth discussion of the ills of our food chain and how it relates to processed foods, etc (please don't get me started on that subject) I do take a few seconds to explain the chemical breakdown of proteins/carbs/etc, because some of the kids want to know about it (my background is nutrition, so it comes naturally to me). I did manage to find some "real" foods in a magazine I had, that I can share.
 

vacationhopeful

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...Linda - how did you get him eating eggplant?
I show him how to make "eggplant french fries". And one of his little friends, whose parents are vegans, called my sister for the recipe as her son loved them as well when he ate at her house.

Of course, any time he sees an big purple eggplant, he wants Eggplant French Fries. I don't think he knows where real french fries come from or that potatoes are grown underground in the dirt. :D
 
L

laurac260

And yet, I have access to better quality food right now, than at any time in my life.

It is a great time to be a foodie in America. I can go shopping right now and come home with Devonshire double cream, USDA Prime short ribs from a local ranch, potatoes and vegetables from the local orchard, Italian Parma butter (google Delitia Parmigiano-Reggiano Butter), black winter truffles, artisan cheese and locally produced wine. Then I can go home and make something extraordinary in my kitchen.

So, there's obviously a LOT of people like me, otherwise none of this stuff would be available for sale. When I was growing up, nobody sold any of the above. We were lucky to get cheese that didn't say "Velveeta" on the package.

Find a better circle of acquaintances. People who don't feed their family Happy Meals and Hot Pockets. They're out there, obviously.
Well, here's the thing: I was raised on Spam, boiled ham, fruit loops, McDonald's. My parents had a deep fryer on the counter and we used it often. And yes, Velveeta cheese. Most people don't have a clue what Devonshire double cream is, nor do they care. That being said, 90% of what is in my kitchen right now is organic, or fresh, minimally processed, etc. I have more spices than I do potato chips (yes, there is a bag of that in the pantry somewhere). Most of what we eat I prepare myself, with the exception of cereals and pastas. In other words, I learned and grew, beyond what my parents taught me (or were able to). I don't think I need to find a "better" circle of acquaintances. People homeschool for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with what kind of cheese they buy. Some do it for religious reasons, some do it for economical reasons, many of us do it because we want a stronger educational foundation than what state mandated schools are giving right now. Now that we are in a co-op, I have become part of that educational "process" , so it is my responsibility to educate others as well as my own. Nutrition happens to be the subject of the week for my little people. I just found it sad that you have to buy a cooking magazine to find even one picture of a pear or a potato, atleast potatoes that haven't been freeze dried or partially hydrogenated. :ignore:
 
L

laurac260

My one nephew when almost 5 yo LOVED cherry tomatos. He would eat the whole container from the store by himself. He came to stay for almost a week at my house and I introduced him to my vegetable garden (including my 4 oversized cherry tomato plants). I picked a couple and said, "here, try this cherry tomato". He refused. I did this several times during the week and saying "yum". He was scared stiff. He did help me pick the ripe ones.

When I dropped him off at his house several hours away, I gave my sister 2 big store plastic bags of the cherry tomatoes. She washed them and put them into her refrigerator in a big container. He open the refrigerator and said, "Mom you got me cherry tomatoes!" and proceded to pig out on them while proclaiming them to be the best. She told him I had brought them to her and they were from my garden. And that he had helped to pick them.

From then on, he has eaten cherry tomatoes off the bushes also. :D

And he loves to help in the garden.

PS Ask how I got him to eat eggplant. :hysterical:
What a great story! That's part of what is missing I think. As a kid we used to go berry picking every summer, corn picking, my mom had a garden and canned. I wish I had thought of this sooner, but I think that a field trip for the co-op to go to a farm and plant or harvest is in our future.
 

Elan

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Oh, I don't blame the kids. The part I left out was that it was another mom/teacher who gave them stuff to cut out. Not sure where she got the pictures, some of them looked like ads/coupons. I don't want to offend any of the moms (some of whom sit in my classroom as I teach), but the class is science, and the subject matter is nutrition. So I try to explain about healthy foods, and try to steer away from an indepth discussion of the ills of our food chain and how it relates to processed foods, etc (please don't get me started on that subject) I do take a few seconds to explain the chemical breakdown of proteins/carbs/etc, because some of the kids want to know about it (my background is nutrition, so it comes naturally to me). I did manage to find some "real" foods in a magazine I had, that I can share.
Well, that certainly puts things in a different light. In that context, perhaps the mom/kids intentionally picked pictures of unhealthy foods knowing that it was a class on nutrition (basically, giving you teachable material to work with).

At any rate, although I agree with your conclusion, I'm not sure the experiment was very controlled.

As an aside, one of the reasons I grow a garden and have a small patch of blackberries is so my kids would learn that food doesn't just come from the grocery store.
 
L

laurac260

Well, that certainly puts things in a different light. In that context, perhaps the mom/kids intentionally picked pictures of unhealthy foods knowing that it was a class on nutrition (basically, giving you teachable material to work with).

At any rate, although I agree with your conclusion, I'm not sure the experiment was very controlled.

As an aside, one of the reasons I grow a garden and have a small patch of blackberries is so my kids would learn that food doesn't just come from the grocery store.
Well, live and learn I suppose. I'm not a teacher by trade, just a mom who homeschools who is now responsible for teaching a class once a week. So since I knew we were going to be talking about food I said, "ok kids, bring in pictures of food for such and such week, we will be talking about food and nutrition." It never occurred to me that I might be setting myself up for teaching an entire class on the nutritional makeup of cheetos, freeze dried potato skins and hamburger helper!! :p
 

vacationhopeful

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Laura,
My 4 siblings and I grew up working in the 3 acre vegetable patch. We each had our own hoe. We HAD to eat what we grew - we froze and ate either stew tomatoes or zucchine. Canned creamed corn was so much worst, but my dad loved it. And cucumbers was the salad during the summer. Some years there was a small potato crop. We picked blackberries, too. As we aged out and ran away, the vegetable patch got smaller.

I plant a vegetable garden for some fresh veggies, but mostly so when the youngest nephew comes to stay, he can weed the beds, pick some stuff and understand how food is grown. He proudly drags his mom up and down the rows, explaining the plants and their bounty. She marvels at each type of plant and listens intently to his dialogue. He is patient and clear - proud in his knowledge. She and I simply forget to tell him she too had her own hoe. ;)

He uses my 18Volt Toro Cultervetter with spinning discs. And I have a Hondo gasoline 4 ting tilter along with a 1976 Red Rototiller (cast iron).
 

marmite

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Most people don't have a clue what Devonshire double cream is, nor do they care.
Bliss. Pure bliss.

I must admit, my kids do not want to EVER help me garden but it is a definite education for them when they watch. There are a lot of adults who can't identify root vegetables from their tops or know what brussel sprouts look like when they grow, but my kids do (not that this is a point of pride for them!).

But truly, how many adults know where their food comes from? Even with milk, it didn't exactly come from a farmer milking their cow like you see on TV shows. There are some very educated consumers, but my guess is that most are not.
 
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