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December 26, 2010

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I think affluence can sometimes make one lazy too. There may not have been anything 'easy' to eat in the pantry or particularly tasty. When you have more money, you may buy things that are more convenient and less work to put together.

My pantry has 10 times the amount of food we had when I was a kid. However, I found myself wanting something delicious and premade to jump out at me last night as I was tired from the holiday. I ended up making the family some french toast and fruit. We had all the ingredients, I just didn't want to 'see' them because I was beat. However, had I saw my pantry as a kid, I would have seen a thousand things to eat.

We sure tend to not realize what we have until we have lost it. I feel shame when I think of the things I bought years ago; now that it is a major deal to make a weekly grocery trip for bare essentials and it is time to put off dr. visits I need to make. This psychological pain adds to the day-to-day discomfort of falling off the middle class ladder.

How many wealthy people do you know that do not own a Microwave oven? Maybe I'm the only one.

For one thing, microwaveable products are loaded with chemical preservatives which are unhealthy and some have documented links to cancer. Secondly you pay much more for microwaveable products than if you were to buy the raw, fresh ingredients and prepare them yourself. I can hear the chorus of "but that takes too much of my time time". So what, the result is that it's cheaper, healthier, and tastes much better. You also won't find cans of soda in our refrigerator.
I also grow lots of our own fruits and vegetables and what we cannot eat when they are freshly picked we prepare, vacuum pack, and store them in the freezer for use in the Winter months.
There are far too many people today that 1)Don't like to cook, and 2)Don't know how to cook, yet I bet most of their mothers did. My wife and I emigrated from England in 1956 and we have preserved most of our traditions, and one of them is to have freshly cooked meals. We never set foot in a Fast Food restaurant and never took our children to them.

When my wife was a teacher in a state subsidized pre-school for low income and welfare parents they would sometimes offer classes for the parents where they demonstrated how to prepare very tasty and healthy meals for their children from supermarket items that were in season, very cheap, and very nutritious. The classes were so poorly attended that they finally gave up on the idea. It was just easier for these low income (often single) mothers to stop off at the local Fast Food restaurant and pay several times as much for a meal rather than prepare one themselves, just another example of how people in poverty tend to stay that way for a long time. There was one group of mothers that were quite different and they were the Vietnamese boat people. They lived in an extended family structure, lived frugally, worked hard and proudly moved off welfare very quickly. There was another native born minority group, that shall be nameless, that never made any attempt to move off welfare, the benefits were just too great to give up. A few decades later when the lists of valedictorians from our local schools started being published in the local newspaper, the lists were dominated by Vietnamese names. A consequence of this is that many people gripe these days that in our State Universities the majority of students are now Asian.

Great post! So needed in our American affluence. I found Stephen Driscoll called it Affluenza. He had a quote that said, "Satan’s great achievement – convincing a sinless Adam and Eve, who had everything, that they needed more." - http://tilwehavelogic.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/affluenza/ Let's pray we can remember who gave us our peace and prosperity and then act on that gratefulness with true compassion.

Keep up the good work,
Eric

Thanks Eric! That is a really cool quote. I like it. I was talking with my wife tonight about prosperity and had a pretty interesting thought--We tend to define "prosperity" as "more money than I have". You know? In all reality, almost every American would be considered very prosperous by the majority of the world's population--yet, we rarely consider ourselves as prosperous.

Old Limey,

What about using a microwave to heat water, or make microwave popcorn? Or do some of the pre-cooking for potatoes?

I thought micro waves just excite water molecules, and can therefore cook food from the inside out.

-Mike

Mike:
For those applications the only possible hazard is radiation leaking around the microwave door seal and into the room, but of course, cell phone users get more of that when they hold their phones to their ear. My gripe with microwaves is that their primary usage is to cook processed foods that are full of unhealthy chemical preservatives. I also try to avoid certain fruits and vegetables that require extensive use of insecticides and soil fumigants when grown commercially. With my home grown fruits & vegetables I just toss out any that bugs have gotten to - it's no big deal.

Re: Old Limey - Can't agree more. When my daughters were growing up and had other girls spend time at our house or sleep over - the other kids' food choices were quite telling. Some kids wouldn't eat unless it was Mcdonald's or mac n cheese or frozen chicken nuggets. One kid "couldn't" eat salad unless we had croutons and ranch dressing. Other kids would gobble down homemade veggie stir fry, or curried chicken, or make it yourself sushi like California rolls, etc. Years have passed. Let's just say the two types of kids have grown in to very different creatures! I think a diet of convenience food makes us lazy, unhealthy and narrow minded! But yes, it is easy to look into the pantry and think "I just want something to eat - I don't want to cook!"

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