Posted by Rosemary Parkinson on BU blog – Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? – reposted because of its relevance
Have just returned from The Bahamas where I delivered a presentation on the future of culinary tourism…so I was very pleased to see all the above comments re food except for alien’s own. Sir or Madam – this is a blog about food not about sexual food but real food, the kind one puts into one’s stomach through the mouth – how black and white sex gets into here is beyond me…but I guess some minds just are able to turn everything into a barrage against whites because of historical facts whether they were good, bad or ugly (and they were all but it is past and these sexual unions have produced a wonderful colourful people of all hues, some who eat healthy food and others that open their mouths and immediately show what their stomachs are filled with so that the brain is never in gear with today’s life but seems to have been left to fry in the dirty oil of history. Whilst we should not forget, we should be happy we are now gorgeous Caribbean people with great soul food, and turn our thoughts positively about that! To each his own sadness I guess.)
Yes! Fast Food is not cheap. Yes! Fast food is unhealthy. This cry has been going out now for a very long time. But the fast food business is booming and will continue to do so because we are a lazy lot. And yes! what we do not realize is that Fast Food is also ‘addictive’. And yes! Fast Food can cause us to spend more with the doctor (they are happy…has anyone seen a poor doctor ’bout hey?).
In Barbados we love to go KFC to be seen standing in line for hours, the aroma of old oil in deep fryers covering our senses and enveloping our bodies and later stomachs in a film of grease coming from chickens whose feed is questionable and whose potato chips come from the US and GMO potato. The bright plastic sign outside and on each package with a Colonel just smiling down on us with that grin that says “come on in and mekk us rich at whatever cost to your health!” TGI Fridays with their US food and drinks that are plastic enough to build cars not far behind with Chefette at least playing a part with a salad bar although half of it consists of canned produce (why I ask?) that few visit because the excitement is listening to children screaming as they fly down colourful shoots balancing a burger, hot dog and pizza in their mouths. What deliciousness. A portion of hummus and a pita bread from upstairs Lanterns would be a much bettah deal…but children would have to sit down with their parents and eat properly…lawd what a catastrophic thought.
Home cooking does not have to be tedious and long (we have always overcooked our foods in the Caribbean) and it certainly costs less than any fast food joint whether healthy or not. Shopping at Cheapside Market on a Saturday morning is not only exciting, invigorating but spreads the money where it should be spread – with those who toil the lands in extreme conditions so that we can enjoy a healthy lifestyle – but can you imagine taking the children there for them to see what a real sweet potato looks like? Or how colourful a real tomato is? I can hear the screaming from here…I want McDonalds, I want McDonalds…thank God we threw them out but on the other hand, I wonder why? We still crowd the fast food joints anyhow! So it could not have been because of that! Poor Mr. Mac…he came to fight against Chefette.
Returning home after three weeks away, with no real food in the house…I managed to prepare myself a meal in minutes – opened a can of corned beef, a can of baked beans and threw it into some coconut oil with several garlic cloves and some pepper sauce & seasonings I made before I left. Added Basmati Rice on the side and a nice little spoonful of Mango Chutney made right here in Buhbayduss. Okay…real healthy it was not but it took less than 15 minutes to cook, and it was good enough for a dinner and a breakfast until I get to my hucksters and restock. The cost was little as I know where to shop and always keep a small stock of canned goods for bad weather…and none of it came from the US – I read my labels – made in the Caribbean helps the money to stay ‘home’. I could have gone to a Fast Food but I make the sign of the cross whenever I pass those places so that was definitely not an option. This fifteen minutes allowed me to also unpack whilst the rice was cooking…wasting time is not in my agenda. When my larder is full again, I can cook healthy, delicious meals in very little time…always in the 15 minute ball park and the price is usually quarter of what I would pay at any fast food counter. But for those who hate cooking, why not eat sensibly with the van ladies then (or even the little restaurants dotted around the island although I wish they would stop serving food in those poisonous containers and also putting them into the microwave! I insist mine nevah goes into the latter)…instead of a huge portion, a small one does the trick – meat, a carb, veggies and salad…
We are what we eat. And our children should be learning this in primary school. PRI9MARY SCHOOL IS WHAT I SAID. MINISTER OF EDUCATION I WOULD BE PLEASED TO GIVE A LITTLE TALK FOR FREE ON THIS – CALL MUH!! Our tiny little tots should be dictating to their parents (who are immobilized brainwise by all the toxins in Fast Food) that Fast Food is not what they want, that it will kill Mum and Dad and leave them as orphans! If harsh education is what it takes so be it.
Meanwhile it is good to see the comments and great input into this very problematic scourge that has hit the inner core of our island lives…we were once healthy…we can see that in the generation that are living to be 100. A friend of mine wondered if she wanted to live that long. I said eat healthy now so there is no health expense or worries… and when you reach around 80/85 and feel that looking in the mirror and using Bengays Balsam as a moisturizer is not an option for ya…then line up at KFC ’till you dead – it won’t take long! Bless.