Part 2 of 5
In a very huge curriculum across all topics, I found next to nothing on nutrition. I should really teach at Education Week. Somebody make that happen and I’m there.
On Friday, though, I went to a class called Stocking A Healthy and Convenient Pantry. Please make careful note of the way that title is phrased, for my later comments. I had low expectations of the class, since the LDS (Mormon) people attending the campus event (at the Mormon university) have adopted all the ways of the larger culture, in terms of the Standard American Diet. We embrace processed food and a heavily meat- and dairy-dominated diet, despite counsel against that in both ancient and modern scripture. (One of these days, LDS friends, I’m going to start posting loads of public comments from the prophets and apostles over the past 150 years on diet.)
My low expectations went even lower when I walked into the class and saw the teacher, an older lady who is about 80-100 lbs. overweight. Please know that I love everyone (I am already bracing for the responses to this blog entry), but I say that only because I prefer classes on health to be taught by people who are healthy. Just like I expect a class on Old English to be taught by someone who has read Beowulf, and a class on dance to be taught by someone who can cha-cha.
Before I go just all-out nuts on what was taught in this class—representative of what’s being taught in America—let me tell you the two interesting and valuable facts I learned from the highly academically qualified source:
First, in the 1940’s (before Betty Crocker and prepared foods), guess how much time women spent in food-related activities, and guess how much time they spend now?
1940’s: 6 hours a day
Now: 20 minutes a day
Sure, we have more pressures now. More of us work. But wow. We could do better. We don’t have to spend 6 hours. But maybe we could commit to spending a bit more than 20 minutes? Remember that includes shopping and drive-thru time . . . ALL food-related activities!
And here’s the other interesting fact. Google “food neophobe” about children who are very “picky,” a new phenomenon that I’m sure is also a spawn of the Standard American Diet and its addictive chemical “foods.” Children who won’t try new things need 9 to 10 exposures, according to research, to embrace a new food.
So don’t give up if you gave them green smoothies three times and it didn’t go over well! Be patient and persistent.