Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Food, food, glorious food

When I visited a favourite little cafe in Guildford recently, I chose some venison skewers served on 'cos lettuce and with pita bread, a small vegetable sausage cut in two, a small bowl of low fat yoghurt and some spicy no-sugar chutney. I reckon I did well. This was my main meal for the day, and apart from a small breakfast serving, I ate fruit throughout the day, with plenty of water.

With all the publicity about "obesity" and being told we're eating the wrong food and eating too much of the wrong food, it comes as a little bit of a surprise to hear that in a recent survey here in Australia, it's been found that one in five households are eating what everyone tells us we SHOULD be eating. That doesn't sound too different to people's choices of a decade or so ago, when you think about it.

Going further into the survey, meat and three vegetables is still the favourite meal. Well, we're told we should be eating more vegies but doesn't this contradict the theory that none of us are eating the preferred requirements?

Salads or vegetables are served as an accompaniment to meat, fish and chicken dishes. Salads go with lasagna and pasta meals. Stir frys are a regular weekly event and spaghetti bolognaise join stir frys as favourites. Many families eat fish at least three times a week. Chicken at least two.

Am I reading this all wrong or what? Because to me this sounds like what we should be eating.

Across the board however, the survey, carried out by Westinghouse (Australia?), found the following:

Top 10 home-cooked meals
1. Steak or chops with vegetables or salad
2. Roast/baked dinner
3. Spaghetti Bolognaise
4. Stir Fry
5. Seafood with vegetables or salad
6. Chicken pieces pan fried with sauce
7. Casserole
8. Barbeque
9. Schnitzel
10. Ready-made meals.

What the survey doesn't say, is that number 10 - ready-made meals are very often meals prepared by the person doing the cooking in the home (usually Mum) at the weekend in preparation of the week, and frozen in readiness to re-heat.   Quite often too, the ready-made meals are actually the remainders of the other meals, when too much has been cooked, and then frozen.

The re-emergencw of home-cooking is taking everyone by storm. And it doesn't take much to see that people, even when pressed for time, and pressed for money (with the economic downturn) will return to their mothers and grand-mothers cooking books and hints and tips.

Another thing that I'm hearing all the time is this. Most people have taken note of the "obesity" obsession with the media and the government and done something positive about their own sizings of meals. The number of women I've spoken to who have willingly reduced the plate size from a "mains" to a side plate, have to be taken seriously. Yet, as they, and I've found, this has no effect on body weight (by this I mean losing weight). In other words people are NOT over-eating, and they're eating what they consider to be good food, and what the experts tell us we should be eating.

I can't remember when I last heard anyone saying they had "sweets" or "desserts" following their main meal of the day. People have cut these out. The sales of fruit confirm this, as almost everyone now has bowls of fruit readily available for both the kids and adults.

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