Conserve food: Choose a healthier lifestyle
of Penn Valley
I read with interest the increasing need for food at our local Interfaith Food Ministry.
I am taken back to what happened during World War I when Americans volunteered to cut back on their food consumption to help win the war.
It was during this time that each state in the Union had a Home Economics Director appointed by the Food Administration.
This network of professionals (mostly women) was created to form volunteer networks, educating about food conservation, preservation, growing food and healthful eating practices.
Home Economist played a critical role in creating nutritionally sound recipes using less wheat and meat, since these items were needed to ship to the war front. Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays became a rallying call to homemakers.
It was during this wartime that Americans began to look at the amount of food they were eating and discovered they could eat less food and feel not worse, but frequently much better.
Today, when 65 percent of our population is classified as overweight, and the cost of food is on the rise along with our waistlines, maybe it is time to reinvent the Home Economist, who was put out to pasture with the women’s movement of the 1960s.
Women’s studies need to provide practical, transferable skills, rather than pity parties about how bad women were treated. With both men and women sharing domestic skills, it is time to teach again how to create with one’s hands, rather than running to the store, to eat healthy and conserve on financial resources.
Bodies and bank accounts could both be better if we relearned these skills.
The largest part of Americans health care expenditure is related to lifestyle choices, leading to overweight and obesity.
Americans need to fight a new war, a war of conserving our medical dollars, needlessly spent as a result of poor eating habits.
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