Yoplait’s New Ad Campaign

Yoplait’s New Ad Campaign

It’s cute and they’re definitely quite proud of themselves, but is Yoplait really any better for you without HFCS in it? Check out this article from the “Food Inc” blog to learn more…

I like the suggestion at the end – take plain yogurt, add honey (locally grown for allergy control!), and a little fresh fruit. Voila! WAY healthier, cheaper, and more delicious!

(though personally I’ve gotten over eating insect shells…I mean, extra protein, right?)

Oh, and since I’ve picked up a few more followers lately, let me remind you to “like” FoodiEvangelist on Facebook, where I usually post little links like this. Becoming my fan there will ensure many more regular updates from the world of food & faith!

Label Reading 101—What the Fine Print Really Means

A very simple but eye-opening slideshow displaying a few of the more obvious ways some foods aren’t exactly what they claim to be:

Label Reading 101—What the Fine Print Really Means

Super Powers

The other day my doorbell rang and it was my next door neighbor, looking panicked. Turns out she had locked herself out of her house and her 12 mo old was inside. I gave her a hug and my phone and she called her husband, but he didn’t pick up. We tried to think of a way in but our condos are really secure! Then I recalled how my cat visits her balcony by jumping from ours and suggested we try that.
mom_superhero
She was too short to get up over the balcony railing, but I could, so much to her terror I climbed over (apparently my kids were so scared they were hiding) and jumped over to her side. Then of COURSE her screen door that she assured me was open wasn’t, and so I ordered her to go to my kitchen and get a big knife, which I used to slice right through that puppy and break into her house. After I met her and my kids in her back patio she was still shaking, but the baby was asleep the whole time and had not a clue.

Aside from my apparently strong potential as a cat burglar, this got me thinking about how much we do for our kids – or even for someone else’s kids. As much as I’m not a kid person, I do feel a responsibility to watch out for the village urchins, and I hope other parents are doing the same for mine.

So here is a question recently raised by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff on the US News site: if we would gladly die for our children, why won’t we perform one of the simplest and most meaningful expression of love in our quiver – namely, cooking for them?

I’m reading Michael Pollan’s excellent (as always) new book, Cooked, and he frequently makes the point that cooking is what separates humankind from the rest of the animals: it is what created culture; it is how we bond as communities and families. If cooking makes us human, why aren’t we making more of a point to…um…do it? If we want to raise little people – not little brats or animals – maybe, just maybe, we’re missing out on one of the core skills that will civilize them (hey, if it worked for cavemen…).

When I posted my rescue story on Facebook, it got a ton of positive responses. But you know, we deserve just as much praise for the formerly everyday act of preparing a homecooked meal. In this day and age it is practically a superpower to be able to actually cook for yourself (instead of just watching it on TV). I fear that many of us avoid cooking because it seems too difficult, glamorous, expensive, or only for pros. Worse, we pass that discomfort and fear on to our children – and Food Inc will be only too happy to pick up the slack.

cooking with kidsBut cooking isn’t only for corporations or chefs. It’s for everyone. It’s worth learning and it’s worth teaching. My son loves cooking as much or more than any other activity. He begs to help his dad every day in the kitchen (we’re fortunate that he has the male role model doing the cooking).

We drive our children all over to myriad classes and events; we pay a small fortune for the privilege of letting others teach them sports or dance or music. And yet we have, right in our kitchens, a learning opportunity that engages their whole body (and all five senses) plus brain: teaching fine motor skills, patience, turn-taking and sharing, counting and fractions, reading, and appreciation of pleasure. And it doesn’t cost any more than we’ve already spent on groceries, plus of course time (that we otherwise might not have spent with the kiddo – well invested, I say).

Most importantly, when we cook, the aromas and the presentation and the flavors carry our love into the eater’s subconscious, whispering how much we deeply care. If children are part of creating that moment, then they learn love of neighbor on a whole new level. We have taken the time, energy, and resources to create something out of nothing, just for them, just to bring them joy and to nourish their needs.  If food is God’s love made edible, I like to think that the homecooked meal is a parent’s love (or partner’s or child’s or friend’s) sent straight into the body of the eater, to be fully absorbed by their very being.

And that, my friends, is truly powerful.cooking-love

See This Next

Out today in theaters and available to download on iTunes: a new movie from the producers of Food, Inc. that explores the problem of hunger in America.

I’ve made no secret of my personal gratitude for the WIC and food stamps programs, both of which I have utilized (along with patronizing and working for food pantries).

This is a complex issue but I trust these filmmakers and producers to explain it clearly and spur us all to action (see link for resources from Bread for the World to spark discussion and engagement in your community).

Check it out!

Free Movie Nights in San Diego! (led by yours truly)

If you live around the San Diego area, please come to my movie nights!

March 4:  “Food, Inc.”

March 18:  “Food Fight”

Movies are FREE.  Please RSVP for childcare.

More about these documentaries:

Food IncFood Inc. is a look at our nation’s food industry and how it has negatively affected our health. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary (2008).

Food Fight offers an overview of American agricultural policy, food culture, and the organic food movement, with a focus on California’s contributions to cuisine.Food Fight

Stasi McAteer will guide us in discussing these films.

Location: St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church

1050 Thomas Avenue, Pacific Beach

For more information and to RSVP for childcare, please contact Deann Ayer at 202.486.0690 or deann.standrewspb@gmail.com