A couple of Sunday’s ago saw the New York Times fall food emphasis in its magazine section. Interesting article (click on this link to read it
) about British chef Jamie Oliver who went from a dishwasher (in his Dad’s pub) to a global superstar worth somewhere north of $60 million. Oliver has set his simple foods sights on Huntington, West Virginia, which is reportedly the most unhealthiest city in the U.S. based on the percentage of its population that is obese.
Research has shown for many years that the more you cook yourself, the less that you are likely to eat; that home prepared foods are typically of smaller proportions than commercial prepared foods; and that ingredients such as fats and salts are typically applied with a lighter hand at home than at the local restaurant.
America is one of just a handful of societies in which the poorer you are the more likely you are to be obese. Calories are cheap in the U.S. Eating healthily and cooking for yourself requires effort, time and in some cases more money than driving through the fast food take-out window.
A multi-generational tradition of cheap, heartening foods is a hard habit to break. Temptations are everywhere. The television commercials plead with us to just drive on down for a big feed. Pre-prepared and attractive meals are microwavable and taste pretty good to boot, regardless of their additional salt and fats added for mouth-feel. Oliver has a formidable task in front of him. We wish him luck.