NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading

Omnivore's Dilemma question

SallyBR1's picture

FOr those who read the book - yesterday I read a very interesting part to my beloved.

We ended up having a little disagreement about it - Pollan states that a lot of people's idea of a meal together is Mom maybe cooking something that she ends up eating alone (maybe a meat and a salad to go along with it) - Dad might be in a low carb diet, he grabs something from the freezer, daughter is a vegetarian, grabs something else and microwaves it, son eats exclusively pizza, microwaves a slice for himself.

They each roam to the kitchen, grab their own little dinner, heat, eat - spending very little time together if at all - also, this kind of dining experience would account for the 47% of Americans who says they eat together as a family. THat of course means that 53% admit they don t share "real" meals.

That's when we disagreed - I imagine that Pollan's sources are accurate and this would be a reflection of what happens with a huge proportion of the American families. Phil thinks it is an exaggeration: that most families cook and eat together at dinner. He went through basically every single family we know, or his friends families - and it is true, they all cook, maybe not all are gourmet cooks, but they prepare their food from fresh ingredients and sit down to eat together

So, what do you guys think? I tried to find some serious statistics on the subject - Pollan's book has a lot of references, but in that particular chapter no reference points to statistical studies on American eating habits.

"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
(CookiMonster, Dec 2005)


Edited 6/6/2006 8:39 am by SallyBR1

Syrah's picture

(post #45540, reply #1 of 61)

You are asking the wrong people. You should probably stand in the packaged food aisle and ask the people whose trolley's are filled with them.

"The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off"
Gloria Steinem

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be obtained." -Marie Curie

SallyBR1's picture

(post #45540, reply #2 of 61)

Indeed - this is the wrong crowd. :-)

 


 


"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
(CookiMonster, Dec 2005)

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #45540, reply #3 of 61)

Well, thinking of my friends that have one parent at home and one working and have kids, they cook and eat food, albeit alot from boxes and mixes. They may not neccesarily all sit down and eat at the same time, though.

Those friends that either have both parents working or are headed by a single, working parent; they do the dine n dash routine.

I think the people the guy in the book is referring to are the stereotypical two-working-parent, desperately trying to hang on to middle/upper-middle classdom families. Families that HAVE to have two parents working themsevles half to death to keep up with the house payment and the car payment and make sure their kids have enough entertainment options, etc. Those are the types of families I think are doing this sort of thing; the ones with over-scheduled kids who each have a different activity at a different time four nights a week. The parents don't get home until 6 or 7 b/c their McMansion is a 40 minute drive from their office and traffic is awful. You all know the stereotype.

I don't happen to think that is the majority of America, though I could be wrong.

I have also seen, among my lower middle class and lower class friends a tendency to just eat alot of fast food, as it's dirt cheap and dead easy after a long day on their feet working retail or whatever.

There are many different types of families in this country, and saying that all of them are stereotypical upper middle class and even have the ability to pay for different meals for 4 different people is rather shortsighted, IMHO. It also neglects, I think, black culture, where family meals are still fairly regular among middle class families (as far as I've seen from Ellie's relatives on her dad's side). Not to mention Hispanic culture, which is very family and food-centric.

 


"God is in the cosmic microwaves."

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

Marcia's picture

(post #45540, reply #4 of 61)

Many of the people I know eat together, but our friends tend to be somewhat food and family oriented. I agree that you're asking the wrong people.


I know a family who eats together but it's almost always fast food. They do sit down together. Okay, they're not a family anymore. There was a divorce. The ex-husband was the one who insisted on the fast food, and the wife got tired of cooking only to have her meals rejected. She's well out of the marriage, but their son picked up some terrible food habits.


Who knows what goes on, Sally? You know that statistics can't be trusted.

Biscuit's picture

(post #45540, reply #5 of 61)

I can't tell you definitively country-wide, but I can tell you that I live in a very middle-class suburb, where more than half the families are one-income, and everyone is mid-middle class to high-upper-class incomes.


Among the people I know (and we actually all talked about this once at a PTA meeting), everyone holds on to a "sit-down-dinner" at home with the entire family at least 5 nights a week.   The other two nights are things like:  one parent gets home late from work, sports practices, or date night for the parents.  But the sit-down meal is very important among the people I know, and also that everyone eat the same thing, not each person eating something different.  Eating the same food together, instead of different things, seems to reinforce that sense of unity and togetherness.


Now, granted, there are exceptions to everything, but as I said - among the people I know we all still clutch tightly to the sit-down family evening meal as a lifeline in our busy and sometimes overscheduled lives.  Some people eat at 5:30 p.m., some at 7:30 p.m. in order to make it work, but they all make it happen because it's important to them.


"It is what it is." - Top Chef

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

TracyK's picture

(post #45540, reply #9 of 61)

I think a lot of it has to do with the age/school year of the kids in the family, as well. My family always sat down to dinner together when I was in elementary school, but when my older sister was in junior high and high school she usually had gymnastics practice every night until 8 or 9 pm, so she would have a snack after school and eat something when she got home.


When I was in high school, I often had play rehearsals in the evenings, or dance classes, etc. We always ate together when we could, but it certainly wasn't every single day once we were old enough to have lives of our own, and commitments outside the home.


We all ate the same thing, as well. My mom would fix my sister a plate from our dinner, and heat it up when she got home.


Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

Glenys's picture

(post #45540, reply #14 of 61)

" I think a lot of it has to do with the age/school year of the kids in the family, as well."

I think you're right. My sister, also an Anticook, tried to have a dinner every night with her children, and in spite of her food, they're good eaters. Once they began extra-curricular activities, it took the two of them and our parents to get them to all the activities. That's just insane, but yet lots of families have their schedules driven by work and what I consider a system of regimented sports that takes hours beyond a balance of a healthy discipline.


Edited 6/6/2006 1:30 pm by Glenys

MadMom's picture

(post #45540, reply #6 of 61)

I agree with you and Pollan.  Even though the majority of the people here try to have meals together with their families, even the AntiCook, there are a lot of people who don't.  I know when my girls were growing up, it seemed there was always some conflict...one had a date or some extracurricular activity or wasn't hungry or something...or maybe I just didn't feel like cooking after a hard day in the office?  AntiCook, help me out here?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

AntiCook's picture

(post #45540, reply #19 of 61)

To give you your due, I tend to remember that we ate together as a family more often than not. I'm not saying that was necessarily a good thing--that's when Dad tended to grill us on all the things we'd done wrong :). But as far as you cooking, I seem to recall that you cooked dinner pretty regularly.


As we got older (and remember, I left home six years before Cecilia), there was less eating together. We tended to forage for ourselves.


As for my own family, we make a concerted effort to eat together three-four times a week. We're a one-income family (both of us working the same business), and we tend to fix the girls dinner to eat, chat with them while they eat, then we go out to eat and discuss business--and because we're too lazy to fix our own lo-carb meals. :)


The AntiCook
Cooking is for wimps!

The AntiCook
Cooking is for wimps!

MadMom's picture

(post #45540, reply #20 of 61)

Maybe it was the Dad grilling that caused me to block it out of my mind, LOL.  I do know from the times I've visited with you that y'all do try to eat together, at least when you're not doing the low carb thing.  How's the diet going?  When are you going to call me?  Doesn't everyone else wish we would stop using CT to converse?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Glenys's picture

(post #45540, reply #21 of 61)

I wish my mom was computer savvy but maybe it's a good thing.
Could you imagine the tangents?

SallyBR1's picture

(post #45540, reply #25 of 61)

I am actually quite relieved that not only my Mom does not own a computer, but she also doesn t speak English.

THe only words she knows in English: yes, no, and love

I guess I'm safe

:-)

 


 


"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
(CookiMonster, Dec 2005)

AntiCook's picture

(post #45540, reply #22 of 61)

*reminds you that the phones work both ways*


I did try calling you the other day. Ask Dad, because I called the house first.


Stasia says all she wants for her birthday is a new key to her car. :)


 


The AntiCook
Cooking is for wimps!

The AntiCook
Cooking is for wimps!

MadMom's picture

(post #45540, reply #23 of 61)

Neener neener neener.  I call you often, including this afternoon, but you're never home.  Surely your social secretaries tell you about the call? 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Adele's picture

(post #45540, reply #27 of 61)

  is a new key to her car


Shoot, that's letting MM off too easy.  You can get a key for less than three bucks!


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

MadMom's picture

(post #45540, reply #28 of 61)

Ha...I wish!  The new key to her car is about $75, or at least it was a couple of years ago.  Probably higher now. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

AntiCook's picture

(post #45540, reply #31 of 61)

She has a VW Beetle. A new key (with the buttons) is nearly $300. A no-frills valet key is over $80. It's not letting anyone off easy! :)

The AntiCook
Cooking is for wimps!

The AntiCook
Cooking is for wimps!

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #45540, reply #32 of 61)

Hey, I have a spare key for my Beetle. All the buttons are intact. You can have it for - oh, say, $150.00.





"Once you institutionalize thinking outside the box, it turns to dust in your hand." .
Gen. Michael Hayden

Pomona's picture

(post #45540, reply #33 of 61)

I'll take it for $160 -- dropped one of mine a few too many times.


(Looks like my Beetle is in very good company.)

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #45540, reply #34 of 61)

I was actualy joking (as I'm sure you realize) but if the keys can be reprogrammed for another car, email me off the board and we'll talk.





"Once you institutionalize thinking outside the box, it turns to dust in your hand." .
Gen. Michael Hayden

Pomona's picture

(post #45540, reply #35 of 61)

Fortunately, I'm the only one who needs to have the good key to my car.  Just wanted to yank Anti-Cook's chain a little.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #45540, reply #36 of 61)

Damn! You mean I blew a perfectly good bidding war?





"Once you institutionalize thinking outside the box, it turns to dust in your hand." .
Gen. Michael Hayden

MadMom's picture

(post #45540, reply #37 of 61)

Hey, you're yanking my chain, not hers!  She would be content for DGD to continue driving with a broken key.  (Of course, so would I...I just glued it back periodically!)



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

PeterDurand's picture

(post #45540, reply #38 of 61)

I always thought that German products were expensive. Having said that I went into the Honda dealership not too long ago to buy a spare key to keep in my briefcase in case I locked my main one in the trunk (that happened on our honeymoon - another story). They wanted over $100.00! AND an hour to program everything to work with the car. Sheesh.

Peter(outraged)

 

TracyK's picture

(post #45540, reply #42 of 61)

I can get a spare key for my Honda for about a dollar.  :-)


Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

RuthWells's picture

(post #45540, reply #43 of 61)

Me, too -- all it takes is a quick trip to our local hardware store.  ; )

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

madnoodle's picture

(post #45540, reply #44 of 61)

Me three.  And good thing, since I have them stashed everywhere.

Saskatchewan:  our mountain-removal project is nearly complete.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

MadMom's picture

(post #45540, reply #45 of 61)

DD and I just discussed that it's highway robbery at Volkswagen.  This key broke when the car was fairly new, and we just kept gluing it back with super glue, but now they say the car is too old and has too many miles on it.  Really stupid.  We're trying to figure out some way to get one for our beetle or DD's beetle, both of which are newer, and then have them program it for DGD's.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

TracyK's picture

(post #45540, reply #46 of 61)

Unfortunately, my poor little Honda is not long for this world... my very nice mechanic gently informed me last week that it would cost about $3000 to get this little car to pass inspection in a couple of weeks, and at 12 years old and with 125,000 miles, it's just not worth it. Boo!!!

Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

AnnL's picture

(post #45540, reply #47 of 61)

Oh-oh.  I hate getting news like that.   :-(

AnnL
Transitions Farm
Gardening, cooking, and riding
in Central Mass.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux