Back to the dinner table

    The writer of the following asks a question at the end of the article. Not too sure how to answer it as far as social health is concerned, but you have to wonder how it is that, in the agri-food industry, those businesses which provide inputs (machinery, seed, fertilizer, etc.) are doing well, and those businesses that process the product are doing well. It's many of those that are growing the raw commodity who aren't. Maybe the fact that way fewer people aren't cooking from scratch has something to do with it.

    Chefs Table
    By: Michael Formichella

    Back to the dinner table
    (The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)
    I was thinking about a recent article I read in Meatingplace about Hormel's expansion. Hormel is extending its business model through an acquisition to provide more value-added products. Recently there was another article about two industry giants Cargill and Heinz teaming up to provide a new line of comfort food-style meals. These stories remind me how much we have gotten away from cooking from scratch and how much we rely on manufacturers to provide us with our daily meals, or a percentage of them, pre-prepared.

    I, for one, sincerely appreciate that changing dynamic from a business perspective; it keeps a roof over our heads. On a personal level, though, I grew up in a home where my mom and dad were both very good cooks and both had fulltime jobs. We would sit at the dinner table to share our daily experiences and enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared from scratch. Now let me also state we did have the occasional TV dinner while we watched Walter Cronkite.

    Weve come a long way from the little brownie in the center of that frozen dinner in terms of quality, but weve also become more dependent on such quick-and-easy foods. As our society continues to advance in technology and things seem to speed up around us, we fill our days with more work and make less time to cook from scratch.

    I'm not sure exactly when or how this obesity problem happened, but it did. And Id venture that the farther weve moved from the dinner table, the bigger our waistlines have become.

    Do you believe moving away from the table has had a direct relationship to our current general state of health as a society?

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