Raising Future Foodies

Future Foodies

I was watching reruns of Friends the other night. It was the episode where Phoebe is singing songs to a group of children at an elementary school.

The horrified looks of the audience, both young and old, as she sings about cows being ground up for hamburger meat is unsurprising. Going by way of the Tooth Fairy and Santa, the truth about where meat comes from is always a troubling time in a child’s life. The truth is that these younger generations are growing up in a culture where there is a big disconnect between food and its source of origin. This culture ultimately sets up an uneasy relationship with food, hindering one’s ability to learn new skills and make healthy, responsible choices.

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Why Are We Uncomfortable with Meat?

Prosciutto in Appechio

Several years ago, I read a study conducted between children 7-12(ish) years old who were asked to draw a turkey. The majority drew what they see on the Thanksgiving table- a roasted bird ready to be carved up. Many were startled to learn that a turkey is a living animal. Starting from the time we are children, American food culture has discouraged our connection from understanding the sources of our meat and the process of getting it to our table. When Americans visit French farmers’ markets for the first time I will hear the echo of disgust amongst the crowd as they disapprovingly eye the intact carcasses to which the meat for sale belongs. It’s a legitimate reaction given that we are used to it magically appearing on our dinner plates.

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