"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Monday, July 6, 2015

How best to eat properly?

What did you have for breakfast today? Simply being asked the question probably puts you on the defensive, and you'll be inclined to maybe embellish. We all know what a good breakfast consists of. If you are in a hospital or some other kind of institution (e.g. prison), you will be forced to accept a tray that has a decent breakfast on it.
Why am I fixating on breakfast? Well, a nice full breakfast helps get your mind focused for the tasks of the day. It helps your attention span and stamina. Is it possible you had no breakfast at all, or just a cup of coffee? Maybe you stopped by a convenience store and just picked up some small item. Even if you went to McDonald's and got a sausage and egg biscuit, it's really not enough.
If you are not being served institutional food - if you're just a free-roaming American - what are you to do? I would guess it's ungainly for many of us to buy the rough ingredients for breakfast and make it daily. You end up with dishes to wash.
Here is why I am writing this post: the demographics of our society are changing. The Norman Rockwell model of the American family has been fading. That old model would have the housewife filling her grocery cart at the grocery store, to overflowing. Yes, that puts dollar signs in the grocer's eyes (Paul Martin). But the composition of our society has been changing from that model of a husband/wife in their 30s or 40s with about four children.
We hear that the tradition of "gathering around the dinner table" has been fading. People are "on the go" as they grab food rather haphazardly.
Part of the old model is Dad reading the morning newspaper at breakfast. We can push this to its cliche level by citing Ozzie and Harriet. I prefer Norman Rockwell. The painter gave his images real dignity. Grandma by the stove for Thanksgiving. We have seen recent Thanksgivings in Morris where there is no public place to even go and eat.
The demographics are shifting to where there are more singles, small families, retirees and senior citizens in general. These people mostly just "grab a basket" when going to the grocery store, not a cart. They might just purchase a handful of items at the store. It is hard to buy groceries for a small family. You are often forced to buy quantities that are too much. Food gets stale or goes past its expiration date. I used to bake cakes when we had a family of three and I'd bring a piece to the neighbor. People have died. It is no longer even practical for me to bake a cake. And I don't like "Jiffy Cake."
I look at that big grocery store and wonder how practical it is any more.
We can eat at restaurants. Two problems with that: 1) It is expensive. A simple bacon/eggs breakfast at a restaurant, with coffee, will come to about 7 1/2 dollars. You leave a tip also. And, 2) restaurant food is not designed to be optimally healthy, it is designed to "taste good." You can't blame the restauranteurs. And heaven help you if you ate all your meals at McDonald's.
As I ponder a solution, I remember when our family would dine at the old Forum Cafeteria in Minneapolis. You'd grab and tray and walk along, taking items that would make for a full, satisfying meal when you were done. It was a quite different restaurant experience, wholly satisfying. When last I read an update of that art deco place, it had been converted to a night club.
It seems it would be nice if all communities had a cafeteria type of place for people to get a nice, ordinary balanced meal. The meal would be like what you'd get in the hospital, and yes, I realize people joke about "hospital food" (like Jay Leno). I suspect people make these jokes because such meals aren't designed with your taste buds in mind.
Well, you can't just go and get "french fries" all the time. If you have spent several days in the hospital at any time, just stop and think how good you'd feel if you ate three meals on an ongoing basis, 365 days a year. You'd be more hearty and sharper mentally.
What would it take to get such "cafeterias" established? Well, I guess public demand would be needed. And apparently it's just not there. So we continue making "meals" at home that are probably not sufficient or properly balanced. In the old days, a family of several people would pass a bowl of potatoes around. Do you make potatoes at home?
What kind of incentive do we need to feel, to upgrade our lifestyle in the proper way? We all need to pause and think about this.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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