A familliar phrase ‘whats for dinner ?’ and often one parents groan to hear. Coming up with endless tasty treats and making sure they are nutritiously packed and sticking to a budget after a hard days 9-5 is not easy……….’Mc Donalds’ it is then. Working parents who are on a budget concerning time and money have increasingly opted for ready-meals and fast-food to-go. Sold the ‘you can have it all’ dream women have found juggling career and house hold chores near impossible. Food manufactures have known this and fed into this manic fast-paced era by giving us fast-food-to-go and seducing us with their photo-shopped images of food. This mega recipe book that I was lucky enough to be sent as a press release is a a vital tool for busy people who dont want to sacrifice their health.
It seems people are stirring from their mono-sodium malaise and awakening to the fact that in reality we don’t ‘want it all’ just enough to stay healthy and simple seems to be the new buzz word. By trying to ‘have it all’ the baby-boomer generation have also realised-somethings gotta give-that something has been our health. Disease has never been so prevalent in the western world. But this seems ironic as today we are more technically,industrially and medically advanced than ever. So what’s failing our health? A lack of simple fresh organic produce, less relaxation time & non media stimulation (ie TV,internet,computer) and less community spirit are the main issues.
But things are comming full circle and people are demanding healthier food choices and getting down and dirty in their own kitchens. They are rejecting the capitalist food industries ethos of quantity over quality. Movements like ‘Slow Food’ and farmers co-operatives, Fair trade and The Soil Association are all getting a stronger following. The book featured in this review encompasses this belief, its not simply a cookery book for busy mums, on an ideological level it represents a much deeper cause, a movement away from the processed and back to the humble family kitchen. This I believe is the root of improving the nations health.
The aptly named book by Romilla Arber ‘Whats for Dinner?’ is a reflection of our move towards a slower healthier life and a focus on quality simple food forms. The book offers you 365 days of fast-healthy-food.Recipes you can russle up in the time you can say ”Big Mac ‘n’ fries”. Fast food can be healthy food too.
What’s for Dinner?” is the essential cookery manual for 2012, divided into weekly sections with a menu and shopping list for each week of the year. Romilla felt that knowing what to cook is what puts off most people from going into the kitchen, rather than the actual act of cooking. She discovered that parents who relied on convenience food were less likely to pass on basic cookery skills to their children.
and you can purchase the book from amazon-Whats for Dinner?
Is there a national organisation that seeks to educate our young on healthy cooking?
Romilla is a woman after my own heart and recognised that many people were relying on convenience foods to feed their kids as they found alot of recipes too time consuming to fit into their busy working lives. A community based project is the best way to reach a large cross section of society and Romilla with 4 children all of school age used her local primary school as her starting point.
As a Nutritional Therapist I have seen all too often the results of eating a diet made from a large proportion of ready meals and convenience frozen ‘food-stuffs’ ( I say food-stuffs’ because allot of this processed re-formed animal shaped eats are so far removed from their original natural form and contain so little vitamin and mineral nutrients that they cant fully be designated as a food as such). With child-hood allergies on the rise, Autism and so called ‘Learning Difficulties at epidemic levels thinking about what we put into our children’s bellies has never been so important. I have wanted the government to set up a food-education curriculum for schools for some time and Romilla’s Food Trust does just this. What we need now is her trust to be government backed and for them to invest and make her lessons part of the national curriculum. This may in the climate of recession and economising seem frivolous but by educating the young on healthy eating you actually reduce the NHS bills of the future. It is said that 70% of illness and dis-ease is caused by lifestyle choices. Scientists say 40% of cancers are lifestyle related and the biggest costs for the NHS are on diabetes, blood-pressure,heart-disease and osteoporosis medications in the UK and western world.
In our Grand-parents time things were more simple. GM crops were nothing but a science-fiction nightmare, Ready-meals were un-heard off and generally people didn’t mess with nature so much. Children were raised on local in-season produce and what’s more it has been scientifically recorded that fruits and vegetables had a higher vitamin/mineral content in the past because there were less pesticide residues in the soil, less air pollution, food travelled less and was consumed fresh and quicker. Meat was not injected with antibiotics and was sourced locally an eaten as a treat once/twice a week. With all this in mind Romilla made it her mission to feed her family healthy, quick and easy to prepare meals on a budget. From this this came the book ‘Whats for Dinner?’
I am super excited by this book and loved the idea that the proceeds of her cookery book go towards forming a trust that’s aim is to eductae children at an early age to be interested and enchanted by cooking healthy food. Healthy eating and a persons relationship to food can start at any age but its best to teach the children, cause they are the future. Our babies will be running the country in 20 years time and they need the best nutritional defence against the on slaught of pollution and stress levels that exist in the modern industrialise world. Fact:Food can heal. Romilla’s trust visits schools all over the UK and delivers cookery lessons to primary school children who then re-educate their parents on healthy eating-genius!! Whats more is the kids learn skills for life so generation after generation will benefit, it really a fantastic concept. The children learn to think about where the food comes from, they get to feel it,smell it and are introduced to new tastes. They learn to follow instructions and skills in team-work and health and safety that are valuable to many situations in life.
Food education has as it were gone out of vougue with the schoold national curriculum.I remember my Home Economics lessons were about making scotch-eggs (fried) and fairy-cakes and the teacher how can I say this polity was obese. Not great food lessons for life me thinks.