Salt Sugar Fat, Michael Moss’s compelling expose of how the food industry has “hooked” us on highly processed foods, concludes that “only we can save us” from the hazards of the modern American diet. In other words, while we wait around for Big Food to voluntarily reform itself, or for our government to compel it to do so (developments I’m not sure I’ll see in my lifetime), Moss suggests that our only recourse against the food industry’s influence is to reassert individual control over the food we eat.
Melanie Warner’s Pandora’s Lunchbox, a disturbing investigation of the many untested chemicals in our food supply, ends on the same note. After concluding the book with a chapter on the need for more home cooking and widespread cooking education, Warner writes:
While there are clearly policy changes that would make the job of cleaning up our food a whole lot easier . . . . the choice of what we feed ourselves and our children is ultimately ours.
After the new documentary Fed Up shows how Big Food and our government have misled the American public about the risks of eating a highly processed, sugar-heavy diet, it, too, ends with a call to action urging Americans to break their dependency on processed food and get back into the kitchen (aided by Fed Up co-producer Laurie David’s new cookbook, The Family Cooks).
And perhaps no one has made a stronger case for home cooking as a political act than Michael Pollan, whose latest book, Cooked, A Natural History of Transformation, argues that “taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable.”
So when I headed into the kitchen with my 11-year-old son to make Sally Kuzemchak’s Zesty Lemon Waffles with Blueberries in honor of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day — taking place today, all over the world — it had more significance than just spending a fun morning together. As Jamie Oliver states in this year’s Food Revolution Day message:
I believe that it’s every child’s right to be taught about food, how to cook it and how it affects their bodies. Without this fundamental knowledge, they’ll grow up without the skills or even the desire to eat better.
I hope I’m empowering my kids with that fundamental knowledge when we cook together — and when we all sit down to a home-cooked meal five or so nights a week. I want them to learn by osmosis that we don’t need Big Food to feed us, and that we can actually do a better job when we take back control of the cooking.
This is normally the point when I’d share the waffle recipe and photos*, but as I mentioned yesterday, Brianne DeRosa of Red, Round or Green has done that job for me (and the other bloggers cooking with their kids today) by creating a fabulous and free digital cookbook for you. Just click on the photo below to access the book.
All I’ll share here is a photo of the finished product and my son’s glowing “review:”
And, by the way, here’s what my son avoided eating by making these waffles from scratch, instead of relying on Kellogg’s to do the job for him:
Please be sure to visit all the other bloggers (and their kids) sharing Food Revolution Day with me and my son: Grace Freedman of Eat Dinner.org, Brianne DeRosa of Red, Round or Green, Mia Moran of Stay Basic Magazine, Sally Kuzemchak of Real Mom Nutrition, Caron Gremont of First Bites and Lynn Barendsen of The Family Dinner Project. And you can follow all the Food Revolution Day activities going on around the world today by following Twitter hashtag FRD2014.
Happy Food Revolution Day, TLTers!
* Unfortunately, my camera-shy preteen only allowed his hands to be photographed for the cookbook, so apologies for that. I briefly considered hiring a neighbor’s kid to pose as my son, but since someone actually did once accuse me of passing off models as my kids, I figured I’d better drop that plan!
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