Monday, April 23, 2012

My 100th Blog Post

Happy Monday everyone! Today marks my 100th blog post over the past 18 months, and I'd like to start today's short little post by thanking all of you for reading, whether you read weekly, monthly, or just every once in a while. Readership of my blog has exploded in recent months, and it gives me great happiness to know that natural and preventive health can generate such interest - it's what keeps me working, so as long as you keep reading, I'll keep writing!

It being a Monday, I'm bringing to light an article or chart made by someone else - in this case, I'm including a link to an article that appeared in the New York Times back in September. The article addresses the commonly held misconception that junk food and fast food is cheaper. Anyone who's eaten beans and rice consistently knows how inexpensive a meal can be, but even so, the idea that bad food is cheaper is still pervasive. The article includes a great graphic which illustrates this point, showing how much a meal for four would cost, whether purchased at a fast food restaurant like McDonald's or made at home (examples include roast chicken with salad, and a bean and rice dish).

The article also addresses important social factors at play - economic realities in dual-income households often leave little time to cook, and the stresses of work often leave little motivation to cook. Additionally, there's simply the force of habit, and a certain behavioral inertia that prevents people from making changes, even when they know and understand the benefit they'll gain. However, instead of succumbing to these forces and taking the easiest, least healthy solution, the article encourages readers to rise to the challenge, at least as much as they can. In the same way that some exercise is better than no exercise, some home-cooked food is better than no home-cooked food.

Fifty years ago, there was a lot of allure to the idea that we could all live in single-family homes, eat sumptuous meals with minimal effort put in to cooking, and watch television in air-conditioned comfort. Unfortunately, we've found that that way of living has lead us down a rabbit hole - but there's no wonderland at the other end. Instead, we live in social isolation and eat without enjoyment or health benefit. Cooking, as the author argues, is part of larger social change that will bring us back into contact with one another, improve our health, and save us money. This Monday, I'm asking you readers to complete a little assignment - cook at least one meal this week (no matter how simple), and invite someone over to eat with you. It's time for us to be in touch with each other and what we eat.