“To eat is a necessity,
to eat intelligently is an art.”
In our house Jeff and I have a new system.
See, Jeff loves junk food. And by junk food I don’t mean the occasional McDonald’s; I mean Jeff keeps Tastykake and Lance Foods and Coca-Cola in business.
This conflicts with my food ethics. I like real food. I genuinely like squash and kale. I prefer brown rice. I own a yogurt maker that I remember to use, sometimes. I like my chickens and my cows as happy as possible.
So the happy medium we’ve worked out is, Jeff goes through the store circular each week and circles what he “needs” to get through the week. I zip the lip and put the crap into my cart and pack it into his lunches, or he forages after the kids go to bed.
Then, I cook what I want to for dinner each night and he dials down the mock puking sounds or accusations of poisoning while sitting at the table (studies indicate this influences kids’ willingness to eat the allegedly poisoned meal).
I was amused to see “Tater Fingers” circled this week.
Tater Fingers are fingerling potatoes packaged like french fries. The front cries out, “With 94% less fat, they’re the fun, healthy alternative to fast food fries!” On the back is a recipe that I meant to copy down, but basically involves slicing the taters, drizzling with a bit of oil, adding a bit of salt (we’re very into coarse sea salt at the moment) and baking at a high temperature.
In other words, “Easy Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.”
So we made them, and everyone enjoyed them very much, without coercion or complaint. (Normally I would stick fingerlings in with a roast, or prepare much as directed only cutting them into hunks rather than “fingers.” They get eaten, but grudgingly, under the “try a bit of everything if you want dessert” rule.)
So, excessive packaging aside, I’m not sure how to feel about this.
The price, although more pricey than your bulk Yukon golds or your reds, was equivalent to a normal bag of fingerlings, so I have no real complaint there.
I guess I’m irritated by the assumption that the only way to get kids to eat vegetables is to package it as something we think kids find more attractive- that is, fast food. Reinforcing the notion that fast food = tasty food. It’s a vicious cycle.
On the other hand, they ate it, and they looked forward to it.
And- this is a biggie- Jeff willingly prepared it as opposed to simply accepting it.
It made that meal fun. That’s good, right?
The question is, which is more important? Paying attention to the marketers targeting our kids, or simply getting better foods into them? Do the ends justify the means?
Because there’s a virtually untapped market there- produce advertising- and I’m not sure I like what I see in the road ahead.