Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, January 8, 2010

Starved Minds

Fast Food Bodies

I read in the paper a few days ago that frozen pizza sales are through the roof. It is the fastest growing and largest market for frozen and prepared foods. The article went on to explain why prepared food is such a huge market; people either don't want to cook or don't know how to cook.

This made me think of an adage; if you know how to cook you will never go hungry. As a caveat to this, you do need something to cook with, but if you know how, you can make food from limited ingredients. I was able to make a full dinner last night for two people for about $4.00. I know how to cook.

The food network is wildly popular but people don't cook. It is strange to spend time watching someone do something you yourself have no interest in doing. Day after day. Is there some yearning there but a lack of impetus? I would think a lifetime of processed food would be the catalyst needed to spur action. I suppose it will remain a mystery to me.

Yesterday I listened briefly to MPR (MN Public Radio) and heard something interesting and disturbing. A psychologist was talking about studies at the clinic where he works involving the brain of juveniles who use texting, twitter and the social networking sites on a regular basis. 

It seems the brain waves on these youngsters show that the kids lack the ability to recognize facial expression. The psychologist said the ability to read emotion is what leads to empathy. This disturbed me, for it leads to all sorts of speculation. We already have a society which lacks empathy and sympathy. Wall Street is full of those type. If an entire generation grows up like this, what will it lead to?

As the Wicked Witch so famously said: "What a world. What a world."


  1. Most of these kids that use the social networks all the time have no idea how to deal with people in the real world...they call them the Generation ME. So true!
    Happy New Year to you!!

  2. I know how to cook [& do, most nights] but for me it is a chore I intensly dislike. The only reason I don't succumb to constant fast food is I know it's bad for everyone. I want a pill that replaces me having to have anything to do with food ~ buy it, store it, cook it, eat it. It takes so much time I could use for reading but I can't live on books alone ~ enfortunately. ☺

    As for the other, I wonder if that's why cyber bullying has grown so huge? Maybe people aren't real?

  3. I keep a few premade things on hand for this days when I just don't have it in my to cook. but the freezer is usuallly well stocked with left overs, so that doesn't happen often.

    I really and truly can't bear to think about the future. It's just so damn scary.

  4. It is amazing to look into other peoples grocery carts at the store...people eat so poorly, but some don't know any different. When I was growing up my Mom cooked a homemade dinner each night. I could not imagine serving a frozen pizza for dinner.

  5. That is a scary finding. I know that catching up with my friends 'face to face' lately is something so different than email or phone calls.

    I do like to cook but have been lazy about it lately. Being back in the states with so many familiar ingredients has been pure bliss!!!! I hope to return to brazil a little more inspired to cook and bake more.

    I am glad that you know how to cook as you have inspired me to try many a new dish!!! : )

  6. I'm not sure why people waste their money on frozen pizza which is tasteless and has very little toppings on it when it is so easy to make your own homemade pizza. Heck my intellectually disable 7 year makes pizza with ease. Plus home made is far healthier and tastier too.

    I don't stock frozen dinners in my house. I rather eat bake beans on toast if I can't be bother cooking.

  7. I never thought about that - but you are right! nor will they be able to understand tone. this is where I get in trouble with emails and such -my tone does not come across. I am often sarcastic - yet it gets lost in translation. scary indeed.

    (happy bday)

  8. As you know I am a retired Chef but that has nothing to do with cooking at home here, I started cooking when I was about nine because I was fascinated with chemistry. The idea that flour, water, salt and yeast would after going into the oven turn into something other than the messy, sticky glue it was on the bowl, to me was magic. And combining flavors and discovering some of my own. When I was teaching I used to say that baking was chemistry but cooking was alchemy. I truly believe that.

    There is two of us now, as you know to I am a little bit on the non eating side these days, but when the spirit moves off I go to cook, tired of being upstairs. Three meals out of a roasted chicken is nothing new: first night just chicken with veggies or rice or polenta; second night, boned chichen with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, and some leftover asparagus from the night before, eggs and some cheese, 375 for 45 minutes, chicken spinach tart.

    Third meal, some of the chicken breast sliced very thin, make Montecristo sandwiches with a bowl of soup. Now tell me why someone would rather eat a piece of cardboard with so may preservatives that would keep the brain aloof for several generations instead of a roasted chicken?

    No, I don't get it either and I can tell you that this ME generation lacks the most essential sense of empathy, maybe not all of them but certainly those who at 25 years of age still looking toward playing computer games as the highlight of their weekend. Sad, it is truly very sad.


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.