On the eve of Thanksgiving before we are stuffed with turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, I thought a post on fast-food and wholesome food was very appropriate. (Well, you will be stuffed with turkey and mashed potatoes–I’m not a fan. I know, I know–it’s “un-American”, but it’s just the way it is.)
Last year Americans spent $179 billion on fast food. Let me repeat: $179 billion. That is more than double what was spent on weight-loss products that same year.
AND the U.S. ranked last of 28 countries (in 2011) in both the percentage of people who cook and the amount of time they spend doing it. The only place we “beat” most other countries was in our obesity rate. Go figure. Well, that could be due to the fact that of fast-food purchases from six U.S. chains, the average meal contains 836 calories.
And did you know that a study published in the journal of Obesity back in February found that obese young adults and middle-agers in the U.S. are likely to lose almost a DECADE of life on average as compared with their non-obese counter-parts?
In a separate survey 19% of respondents described themselves as “fast-food junkies”.
Customers have called for healthier menu options at fast food restaurants. But most healthy strides have flopped: whole-wheat donuts, “french fries” made from fruit, etc. That is because there is a discrepancy between what consumers say they want and what they actually buy.
However, just turning to “wholesome food” isn’t the answer. Research has shown that many of the dishes glorified by the wholesome food movement are as caloric and obesogenic as anything served in a Burger King. One article I read even said that the wholesome-food movement is impeding the progress of the one segment of the food world that is actually positioned to take effective, near-term steps to reverse the obesity trend: the processed-food industry. According to the article, fast-food chains could do more for the public’s health in 5 years than the wholesome-food movement could accomplish in the next 50!
Some studies have shown that people who eat wholesomely tend to be healthier than people who live on fast food, but many of these studies do not account for the substantial non-dietary differences that exist between these groups (i.e., propensity to exercise, smoking, air quality, access to health care). In addition, many of these studies are examining different food groups. For instance–comparing apples to Whoppers instead of Whoppers to hand-ground, grass-fed-beef burgers with heirloom tomatoes and artisanal cheese. Come on, researchers. You can do better than that. Let’s put some reliable research out there.
And according to the CDC, there is no hard evidence to back any health-risk claims about processed food. I found this argument to be extremely interesting.
In any case, Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your meal! And good luck to all of you Turkey Trotters! Burn off some of those calories before the big meal!
Puppy raising tip from Control Unleashed: You need to be very aware of your puppy’s quirks and tendencies so that you can shape your training plans to best fit him/her every step of the way!
Speaking of puppy, here are some pictures of my little one! And she certainly has her quirks and tendencies that I absolutely adore!!
Quote of the Day from todaywasmeaningful:
“because what i have found is that if you surround yourself with people that make you want to be a better person, you can’t help but rise to the challenge.”
So, I have been making lots of pumpkin pie (Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Pie with Whole Milk). This recipe was my least favorite of all 6 recipes I tried. Yeah, you read that right, I have made 6 different pumpkin pie recipes in the last two weeks. Maybe I am just a little OCD…but I am bringing the pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving tomorrow. Anyway, this recipe was very different from the other 5–maple syrup and candied yams? The office seemed to like it (I brought in 3 pies today and 2.5 of them were gone by 11:30am), but it won’t be making an appearance at our dinner tomorrow evening. Sorry, Cook’s Illustrated.
Cook’s Illustrated Pumpkin Pie
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can (see note)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon table salt
– Whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla together in medium bowl.
– Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes.
– Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream mixture until fully incorporated.
– Transfer to pie shell. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 400*.
– Reduce heat to 300* and continue baking until edges of pie are set, 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.