Cheap Family Meals: Spectacular Hummus
by Ms. Joy
The Food Revolution started by Jamie Oliver is absolutely remarkable. I watched the British version and the child who had not eaten a single homemade meal in her entire young life saddened me beyond belief. It is terrifying to think that there are children in our midst who do not eat well and have no concept of fresh food.
I understand the rhetoric of “eat healthy! organic! whole grains!” is disheartening to a family with a limited income and poor access to fresh food. I know it seems inconceivable that in your town or city people are unable to actually find decent food (and once they do, do they know what to do with it?) but it is absolutely true. In Halifax, near one of the universities there is a large convenience store with “Food Store” emblazoned across its side. As you can imagine, lining the shelves are tins of over-processed pastas in “meat sauce” or sodium-laden soup, boxed crackers and potato chips and just maybe a few green bananas. This store is much like any other “convenience” store but there are a few considerations: It is owned by a large, chain grocer. This gives the impression there will be extra options such as the bananas so this convenience store is in some small way filling the needs of the local community; however, there is not a grocery store nearby that can adequately provide fresh fruits and vegetables instead of the usual unhealthy and expensive food alternatives. What is to happen to the families (and university students – they need good food, too!) that live in this area?
Proper food is not always available in some areas and while it is fine to encourage parents to feed their children with wholesome food it is problematic at a higher level. The healthy lives of our children depends on so many factors, so the next time that you see a child eating from a bag of potato chips and feel like condemning the parent, stop and think for a moment. That parent could really be trying to provide their child with healthy food and hitting any number of roadblocks such as transportation, income, or even something as simple as ignorance of nutrition. When so-called convenience food became the motto of the day, a fair amount of food knowledge flew out the window.
Take a look at this article from Canadian Living about school food programs and why they are vital. This is another article about a school for at-risk boys in Washinton, D.C. (thanks to Marisa from Food in Jars for tweeting this a bit ago!).