We spend so much of our lives on the run: we post our thoughts instantaneously on Facebook, we eat lunch at our desks, and we even buy microwaves on Amazon to avoid going to the store and picking one out. Humans have become machines of efficiency, or so we think. We do these things because we value our time so much and so we will do whatever it takes to be “efficient” so we can cherish that precious free time. And let’s not kid ourselves, that precious free time ends up being lost on hours of looking at cats on Buzzfeed. With this desire for control of our time by being efficient comes a potential decrease in quality of life. And yes, since this is the FFK, I am talking about food.
In 1953, Swanson (no, not my boy Alex, the Legend) created the first TV Dinner, a compartmentalized food tray chocked full of your essential food groups. Your serving of vegetables, starch, protein, and dessert were all prepared in one fell swoop. No need to use and wash multiple pans and utensils, when you were done, you just threw it all away! When the TV Dinner was a commercial success, some people cried foul and compared it to a chemistry set. In order to preserve these meals, not only would it lose its nutrients, they would have to inject it with partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Sure the convenience made the TV Dinner, but at what cost?
We see the same issue with fast food in the 40’s with the first McDonald’s (no relation). Brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald utilizes the classic Henry Ford assembly line production model to build their food at a fasted speed. Thus, fast food was born. And our waistlines have been growing ever since. Just ask the FFK from high school who would go a few miles out of his way to order four double cheeseburgers a day at McDonald’s because it was fast and it was cheap.
Somewhere along the way of my life, I completely lost my appreciation for food. Like I’ve said before on this blog, I was proud of my eating accomplishments. I ate a whole large Pizza Pro pizza in 6th grade because I could. I couldn’t beat anyone at a race, but I could sure as heck beat them at eating something. Until three years ago, I abused food the way other people abuse drugs. I don’t say that to make light of drug abuse, it was truly something I did. I would eat until it hurt, and then kept eating because it made me feel good.
When I took a step back and evaluated my eating, I recognized the need for a balance in my life. I needed to be okay with eating pseudo-boring meals like chicken and veggies or turkey burgers so I could enjoy the meals that mattered like eating out with friends or making dinner at home with my boo. I needed to be more judicious with my food intake. With that selective mindset, Megan and I were on the path to a complete overhaul of our eating. One of those ways is by eating more local and organic foods. (Read about our Orchard Pond farm share here!) My Earth Fare brand ambassadorship has been instrumental in that process.
Tonight, we bought grass-fed NY strip steaks from the Earth Fare butcher, along with some potatoes for baking. Instead of using charcoal, the easier and quicker way to grill, I used pecan wood chunks that I bought at Academy for almost nothing on Memorial Day. I essentially started a campfire in my Weber and let it burn until the wood transformed into beautiful glowing embers. Then I put on the steaks, that had just a pinch of sea salt and seasoning on the opposite side of grill and opened the top vent. Then I added the baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil. The whole process took probably close to an hour, but the finished product…well, the photo speaks for itself. Not to brag, (but I will) it was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. Maybe it tasted better because of the whole process that it took to get it on the table, but it was worth it.
Tonight was one of those nights where I truly appreciated every bite. You have to appreciate your food so you don’t abuse it. Treat your body well by fueling it right because you are worth it.