Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There Is No Love In That Food

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing healthy food for my family. When I am not in the kitchen, I spend a lot time thinking about future meals, snacks, browsing blogs, magazines, cookbooks, and discussing food with friends and family.

Cooking is therapy of sorts for me. I frequently get asked if I actually like to spend so much time in the kitchen. I do. I love it. Cooking, to me, is as relaxing as crawling into bed with a good book, a long, sweaty workout that leaves me feeling flushed and tingling with energy. I rarely cook junk anymore and have been trying my darnest to put love and thought into the meals I serve.

So, it irks me when we pass McDonalds and my girls squeal with delight, as Lila did today. For our family, McDonalds is frequented on very rare occasions (as in, 3-4 times a year). A very rare "treat" and almost always with me in disagreement - even if I don't publically share my opinion, so as to not be rude or, possibly, offensive.

I had no response to Lila's McDonald's envy today. Except to say, "We don't eat there because it's junk food."

However, it's more than that, obviously. Those of you who know me, personally, can list off the reasons I avoid the place like the plague.

So, when I saw this post from Food Renegade today, I laughed. The explanation to Lila was so simple and, yet, someone else had to come up with it for me. I'll use this each and every time my family asks to go there as we pass (I'm not sure they've ever asked to go unless we have recently driven by).

There is No Love in That Food:

Even though the food is bad, I really like McDonald’s,” my son explained.

“Why is that, son?” my husband asked. He expected to hear something about indoor play places or ice cream. Instead, my soon-to-be five year old continued, “Well, I think it’s special.”

“But they’re not special,” I interrupted. “Every McDonald’s is exactly the same. They all look the same, make the same foods. There is nothing special or unique about them.”

“The really special food is the food Mommy cooks for you,” my husband contributed.

“What makes it special?”

“All the love that goes into it. The food Mommy makes is full of love every step of the way — from the way the vegetables and animals were cared for and raised, to the way the animals were killed and turned into meats, to the way Mommy bought them and turned them into meals. But the food at McDonald’s, there’s no love in that food.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, maybe there’s love in the heart of the person buying it for you, like Granna or Grandad. But there’s no love in how the animals were raised or how the food was prepared.”

“What happens if there’s no love in the food? Can you eat it?”

“Well, you can eat it. But if all you ever ate was food without love, a little piece of you would die. You’d suffer in a world with just a little bit less love in it, and that’d be sad.”

“I don’t want to be sad.”

“Neither do I.”

Jump to the link below to access the Food Renegade blog:

There Is No Love In That Food

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The Matthaidess' said...

I agree -- I'm not a fan of MacDonald's. I can't remember the last time I ate at a fast food hamburger joint.

House Dad said...

I agree as well. I really dislike McDonald's. But this... "But if all you ever ate was food without love, a little piece of you would die." is kind of a creepy thing to tell a 5 year old, isn't it?

Natalie said...

House Dad, yes, that part was a bit creepy, for sure. I wouldn't use that part in my explanation. Well, maybe I would if I had a smarta** 13-year-old trying to argue with me. But, that's neither here or there right now! Good point, though. Mostly, I thought the general content was good. The kids see me preparing food throughout the day, they go to the farmer's market with me and the farm. Olivia has started making "recipes" (read, messes). So, I think they can relate to the general message b/c they see the time and "love," with their own eyes, that I put into our food...