Friday, May 22, 2009

Sacrifice on the altar of "Convenience"

I have been reading "Coffee Tea Books and Me " posts about frugality, and they have been a blessing. We are not hurting finacially, but we are not rolling in the dough either. I think it would seem that we had more if we were more frugal. Economy used to be one of the traits of a successful homemaker.

Anyway, there isn't much more to say that hasn't already been said by others. However, as an American living abroad, I can see more clearly a few things about our society. One of the things is the American love a convenience. We worship convenience. We would rather spend money than time and/or effort.

One of the areas where is this more noticeable is the area of food. Most women do not cook anymore, or consider making Hamburger Helper "cooking". (note, I love hamburgur Helper...i have very unsophisticated tastes!) We buy many things pre-made. Even if they do not taste as good as the real thing, we prize the convenience. Even if we know that it is not nutritious, we prize the convenience.
The price that has been paid for our convenience has been great. For one thing, overweight, as most over-processed foods are high in fat and sugar. Overweight has lead to other horrible consequences like diabetes. We sacrifice our health on the altar of Convenience.

Another consequence is not as noticeable, and maybe most people don't even care. But it is that fact that since we don't make things without mixes and such, we don't know how. We are trapped. Even cookbooks today start their recipes with "open a can of........." I love church cookbooks, but they are largely useless to me. Most of the recipes for cakes start with a boxed cake mix. Most of the savory recipes call for cans of cream of mushroom soup and velveeta cheese. Now, don't get me wrong, I love velveeta cheese! But, we sacrifice our skills on the altar of Convenience.
I have become empowered as I learn to cook great food from scratch. I spend time, money and effort, but it has been worth it! As I get more skillful, I will spend less money!

Does this make any sense to anyone? Hope so!


Anonymous said...

It makes sense to me. My homemade lasagne was received by all with grateful thanks after last weeks' microwave lasange slop was not.


Sarah Joy said...

Amen! I've been working on learning how to make more food from scratch, for the reasons you mentioned. It's surprising how much better real food is!

There are some good make-ahead hamburger helper type recipes on Also breads and even some mixes.

Jim said...

If nothing else, we pay with bad health by eating all those weird chemicals in all the convenience food. I think it does save you something in the long run when it comes to health, even if it doesn't save you in time and money right away!

Happy cooking! :)

JulieMom said...

I LOVE cooking from scratch, and have never really been a box cooking kind of person.

I think this lesson can apply to any area of our lives too. How much money would we save if we'd learn how to: sew, paint, fix stuff, etc. on our own?

I need more skills!