Friday, March 4, 2011

Overheard conversations, cooking nightmares and looking out for yourself

Exhausted and starving, I arrived home at 7pm regretting my recent decision to stop the take-aways and start cooking my own food.
1.       Because it was cheaper in the long run
2.       I had just bought a fridge full of fresh vegetables (which don’t last long)
3.       It’s healthier
However, when you are exhausted and starving, cooking is the last thing you want to do. Especially when you live alone and don’t really care about how it tastes since there’s no one to impress.
What my oven did to my cupcakes... Yes,
the oven did it!!!!
Restaurants and take-aways just make life THAT much easier. Fast food lets you get on with your life at the desired speed without having to encounter any speed bumps. No waiting for an hour for the strange gas oven that came with your flat to heat up so that you can roast a small bowl of vegetables. No washing up tons of pots and cutlery. No splashes of gravy on your walls from your fire spitting stove that only heats things at one temperature: super hot. No flopped cupcakes… I can go on for a while.
ANYWAY, what sparked this post is a conversation I overheard in the canteen this morning about fast food and restaurants. Said co-worker:
“You know what fast food outlets should have at their till points when people come to buy food… *dramatic pause*… a scale. So they go there, check their weight and realise that maybe buying the food is not a good idea. Or it should have a BMI index calculator that screams out your position on it’s index. Or maybe even a tag so that if you’ve bought KFC or McDonalds three times in one week, the waitress can pick it up and refuse to serve you…”
Cigarettes have those warnings that smoking will kill you so why not restaurants?! There’s ‘Don’t drink and drive’ adverts everywhere so why not healthy lifestyle adverts. Warnings against gambling addictions are placed in casinos so why not comfort food eating or food addictions or healthier option posters at food courts?

Newspapers, magazines, TV shows and internet sites are full of healthy tips to curb the increase in obesity but this all disappears when in malls or drive-throughs or any food place. Informercials, commercials and street billboards are full of fast food advertising. Scrumptious burgers, mouth-watering pizza, phallic like wraps. Even place like Kauai are not 100% healthy, just look at the calorie count!
Of course, I’m not a health-freak at all. Yesterday I gave in to Steers Wacky Wednesday special. But I do feel that capitalism is over-riding human concern. No one really cares about the 100kg 12 year old. It’s his choice to hide chocolate bars under his pillow and snack away in the early hours of the morning when no one can find out. So when he pops by the school tuck shop alone, because the other kids keep mocking him, the owner just takes his money and hands him 'instant gratification' in an environment friendly wrapper.
With alcohol and cigarettes, people are more than happy to put up warning signs because it’s not their product being affected. If restaurants put up scales or gave people tags, they would lose tons of customers. Take-away is often a guilty pleasure or a comfort away from reality, so bombarding customers with facts will no doubt keep them away. No restaurant is willing to lose sales for the betterment of humanity.
Every business, even media businesses, love the human flaw. It gives them a market, a community to manipulate. Self-help books, lifestyle magazines, any advert will tell you that you have a problem. Maybe it’s the wrinkles on your face or the man who refuses to love you. They blame you. They tell you that you can change and make things better and then they give you the steps. Maybe it’s a new cream in the market that giving them some sort of royalty. Or maybe it’s a book that can transform you from a doormat to a bitch and make him love you. Either way, YOU’RE not taking care of your skin or YOU’RE being too nice to him. It's all YOUR fault because you're not listening to us!
Humans are driven by the need to be great… nay, the best. So we buy into it.  Restaurants and fast food outlets sell the idea that they make your life easier. That you can put together a meal in seconds without breaking a nail. What they don’t mention is the price that you pay, not for the food, but by eating the food.

And then to counter-act the situation, the media bombards you with pseudo quick-fixes: diet pills and supplements, 30-minute exercises that will tranform you and accesories that will add to making you a fitter and 'HAPPIER' person. Sigh, and don't we all just want to be happy!
Human kindness has been minoritised (yes I made up that word) by human greed and capitalism. There’s no one looking out for you but you!
Damn… now I have to think up something to cook for tonight. Hmmm... maybe I should check out May's blog for some great recipes.


Niv said...

One can fondly look at the warnings on cig's and giggle a little as they light up. Or make stupid jokes about drinking and driving while drinking and driving. The most common of human conditions is to do something you are told not to do. Think about it, the things humans like to do the most is the things that will kill them. Its not that bad thou, its the universe providing balance. Man has conquered most diseases and there are no natural means of population control. This serves that same purpose

Tharuna said...

Thats a good point. I've heard many people going on about how they escaped the cops while drinking and driving. it adds some thrill to life

Duvane said...

"Or maybe it’s a book that can transform you from a doormat to a bitch and make him love you" - this is the topic in one of my articles coming up haha.. its called "Doormat Dave"...

anyway! Im feeling you on this one sister. Here in the middle east there re too many fat kids! I blame the parents really, a kid doesn't choose to be that way. A kid can only do as much as he/she is allowed. The problem in the middle east, regarding obesity, is that the people here have so much of money that kids do as they please. They have huge allowances and all the comforts they can afford. They even have their own servants to carry their shopping bags!

All these things are compounded by the fact that summer goes up to 50 degrees Celsius, so it makes outdoor activity impossible. It is only during the winter months that kids can really go outside.

I must admit, i am guilty of succumbing to the convenience of fast food. Two months ago, i consumed about 4 fast food meals a week, for 3 consecutive weeks. I was astounded with the amount of weight i gained! Needless to say, i stopped that behaviour IMMEDIATELY! Last month i ate 1 fast food meal for the entire month. Here's the shocker... I'm a fitness professional.

I thought to myself, "well, im getting in a good amount of protein at least, cos thats whats written on the nutritional information". Man, that nutritional information is not so nutritional... or informative.

This week i started my workout routine again and im back to a healthy start!

The worst thing I've noticed in this industry is the perception of "diets". People think its the end of their life. Something thats SO hard to do, and IMPOSSIBLE to stick to. Something thats not normal. They dont realise.. it is normal, its what they should be doing. And following a healthy diet should be the NORM! Then that changed with media, marketing and capitalism. Which has turned the "unhealthy diet", (what we're accustomed to) into the norm.

A bodybuilders diet and a slimmers diet are the EXACT same things... except with different portion sizes. They both have the same food groups and follow similar principles.
Everything else, we DONT NEED. But we have started believing that we do! Why? Cos we're told that it will make us happier, that it will please us.

What i can't stand is how they market fast food as healthy. Healthy compared to what may i ask? Other fast foods? That's like saying Saddam isn't as bad as Adolf. They're both still bad asses!!
Now there's some food for thought... you do the dishes..

Tharuna said...

FK that's so true.... us believin that such food makes us happier and that fast food market their food as healthy... you should defnos blog about it

I recently saw this advert about Romans piza being better than hospital and thought Romans pizza would get you into hospital especially with all their buy 2 get 3 specials