Week 4: Television is the Devil.

Onion Soup in the raw.

Overall this was a very easy week. I made two trips to the store. One just for groceries, largely vegetables for my juice but also for other food for the next couple of days. The other trip to the store was regular shopping for food as well as sundry items like soap another personal items. Shopping twice a week is working out pretty good so far. As the weather improves and more fresh produce items come into season I will probably be more inclined to go more often. Twenty degree weather is not conducive to a quick trip to the store for just a few items.

The biggest revelation this week was how inundated we are with fast food advertising. I watch very little broadcast television and I don’t have a cable subscription. I have an antenna on the roof with a Tivo OTA (Off The Air) box. I do subscribe to Netflix and Prime but I don’t see many regular broadcast programs and those I do are usually recorded on the Tivo box so I can skip the ads. Im glad I skip the ads.

My dogs woke me up extra early begging for their breakfast one morning. It’s hard to stay in bed after a cold, wet beagle walks over your head. They come and go through the dog door as they please at night and wet paws are usually the first indication I get if that snowed during the night. So I got up and fed them then turned on the TV to catch the early morning news to see how long the storm was going to last. Of course the news was full of ads.

After almost a full month of not eating out including any fast food I was fascinated by how overwhelmed we are with fast food advertising. It was 5:30 in the morning and every commercial break in the news was filled with ads for fast food. Not for breakfast biscuits or coffee and doughnuts but for burgers and fries, pizza and soda. I have some background in sales and marketing. It seems every job I have had includes a fair amount of sales. So I understand the technique of Pre-Inducing the sale. Basically they are bombing us with burger ads before breakfast so we will still have those images in our subconscious at lunchtime. Then we will go buy a burger instead of eating healthy and economical food we brought to work with us.

This technique is all the more insidious when you understand how addictive fast food has been engineered to be. We all know it is loaded with unnecessary fats, salt and sugar. Thats why it taste so good. Primitive man needed all the calories he could consume to survive a hunter-gatherer existence so our brains are still programmed to desire and seek out calorie loaded fats and sugars. Food engineers and marketing psychologists have designed foods and marketing campaigns to fill those inherited desires.

I had one meeting to attend last week. It ran from 6:00 to 8:00 in the evening. My wife came with me to run some errands prior to the meeting so we were away from the house from 3:30 to almost 9:00. Effectively missing dinner. We did plan ahead and brought some drinks and snacks with us but as we drove by fast food joints on the way to the meeting my head was pounding with the sounds and images of the early morning ads I had seen. It would have been so easy to just grab a burger on the way to the meeting. Instead we had our snacks and went home to a nice salad. This saved us a lot of unneeded calories and at least $20.00.

The fast food industrial complex has done a remarkable job depriving us of our health and wealth. It is not always faster to eat fast food, just more convenient. Plan ahead and break out the kitchen tools. Cook, pack lunch and snacks. Make it home for dinner instead of stopping for junk on the way. Your wallet will thank you.

This weeks menu consisted of Eggs Benedict and asparagus. (Hollandaise sauce was from scratch) Spaghetti with sausage (marinara sauce was bottled), Salads, Ramen soup from scratch, noodles were from a local Japanese market, not the horrid little packages, Vegetarian curry, Hotdogs and homemade pizza.

Thats all for this week. I’ll have a report on my onion soup next week and the start of some kitchen remodeling. But stay home and cook. See you then.

John


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