By Barbara Wagner
We love our children and want what is best for them, right? We go to work to earn money so we can buy the things that will make our children happy: a Nexus 6 cell phone, a pair of custom-designed tennis shoes, an allowance, and hopefully, an inheritance. Yes, we are busy seeing to the needs of family. Yet, are we doing enough? Are we missing perhaps something too obvious to see? Our biology.
Just two generations ago, we were so devoted to family, we cooked in our kitchens, family meals, that included food from our garden; we sat around the table, and enjoyed each other’s company. Our food was sourced from suppliers that we at least thought we knew and trusted, if not directly, then perhaps by name. Our government assured us that we were making the right nutritional choices for ourselves.
In the interim, we were introduced to Betty Crocker (not an actual person), who convinced us that easier was better; that quick, convenience food served the family. We were convinced, through marketing efforts, that white flour and white sugar were more pure and clean, and therefore superior to their dark equivalents. This catered to our puritanical roots, and we bought it.
Now, trucks arrive with vast quantities of all sorts of pre-packaged, processed, factory-made food, and we eat it. We are addicted to sugar and caffeine, and we love the taste of salty foods. We choose instant gratification over long-term sustenance. Eating is the pleasure that comes from sugar and salt. We are addicts! Yet, that satisfaction is short-lived, and within hours, we are ready for another “fix.”
The truth is many of our food choices have been largely unconscious. We shop from stores birthed from the free market system, and buy what the commercials tell us (and our children) to buy.
According to the October 20, 2014, Time article, How to Eat Now, “16% of men and 13% of women ages 20 to 39 eat pizza every single day. The top source of calories for the rest of us is baked goods, followed by chicken, sugar-sweetened beverages, alcohol, and, yes, pizza. Welcome to the Standard American Diet, which is often referred to as SAD, because it is.”
What our body really needs to work optimally and what we consume, or allow to enter our biology, are different. The pendulum has swung from home-grown, backyard, with some trust in the food source to only a glimpse of understanding of the complex food system, and a denial of the uncaring and unloving methods we employ. Most don’t know where the food comes from nor how it’s raised or made. Can we begin to swing that pendulum back? Can we begin to take back some of the delicious and nutritious food that energizes us in a more sustained fashion? Are we ready to feed our children what we know has been cared for and loved, as much as we care for and love our own children?
Bad habits do die hard, yet, I am confident we can take back our kitchens. See you Wednesday, December 10, 6-8 p.m., at the Mount Shasta library, as we continue our efforts to bring year-round, local, seasonal, farm-to-table food to our families. For more information, go to food.mountshastacommons.org.

By Barbara Wagner We love our children and want what is best for them, right? We go to work to earn money so we can buy the things that will make our children happy: a Nexus 6 cell phone, a pair of custom-designed tennis shoes, an allowance, and hopefully, an inheritance. Yes, we are busy seeing to the needs of family. Yet, are we doing enough? Are we missing perhaps something too obvious to see? Our biology. Just two generations ago, we were so devoted to family, we cooked in our kitchens, family meals, that included food from our garden; we sat around the table, and enjoyed each other’s company. Our food was sourced from suppliers that we at least thought we knew and trusted, if not directly, then perhaps by name. Our government assured us that we were making the right nutritional choices for ourselves. In the interim, we were introduced to Betty Crocker (not an actual person), who convinced us that easier was better; that quick, convenience food served the family. We were convinced, through marketing efforts, that white flour and white sugar were more pure and clean, and therefore superior to their dark equivalents. This catered to our puritanical roots, and we bought it. Now, trucks arrive with vast quantities of all sorts of pre-packaged, processed, factory-made food, and we eat it. We are addicted to sugar and caffeine, and we love the taste of salty foods. We choose instant gratification over long-term sustenance. Eating is the pleasure that comes from sugar and salt. We are addicts! Yet, that satisfaction is short-lived, and within hours, we are ready for another “fix.” The truth is many of our food choices have been largely unconscious. We shop from stores birthed from the free market system, and buy what the commercials tell us (and our children) to buy. According to the October 20, 2014, Time article, How to Eat Now, “16% of men and 13% of women ages 20 to 39 eat pizza every single day. The top source of calories for the rest of us is baked goods, followed by chicken, sugar-sweetened beverages, alcohol, and, yes, pizza. Welcome to the Standard American Diet, which is often referred to as SAD, because it is.” What our body really needs to work optimally and what we consume, or allow to enter our biology, are different. The pendulum has swung from home-grown, backyard, with some trust in the food source to only a glimpse of understanding of the complex food system, and a denial of the uncaring and unloving methods we employ. Most don’t know where the food comes from nor how it’s raised or made. Can we begin to swing that pendulum back? Can we begin to take back some of the delicious and nutritious food that energizes us in a more sustained fashion? Are we ready to feed our children what we know has been cared for and loved, as much as we care for and love our own children? Bad habits do die hard, yet, I am confident we can take back our kitchens. See you Wednesday, December 10, 6-8 p.m., at the Mount Shasta library, as we continue our efforts to bring year-round, local, seasonal, farm-to-table food to our families. For more information, go to food.mountshastacommons.org.