It was kind of quiet yesterday, like everyone was inside watching TV at the same time. Were a lot of you watching? Just kidding.
I have watched past Superbowls but this year I found myself severely disinterested. Maybe this is due to my recently waning interest in pro sports in general, or maybe I just hate the stupid Patriots and stupid Tom Brady. Or maybe I preferred to spend Sunday sharing meaningful moments with my children. Not indoctrinating them into this annual spectacle. Maybe wait until they’re older and can choose for themselves if they want to watch television. Maybe not even then if it means they sit around watching grown men smash into each other hard enough to cause injury.
Creative play and intelligent conversation, nurturing them further along in their long journey through life, seemed better to me than having them sit for hours in the same room with adults imbibing alcohol watching steroid users crash into each other and inflict broken limbs and concussions, the violence and booze dilating our pupils so advertisers can swoop in for the kill with sexualized ads to brainwash us into buying their products.
I did end the day with a certain sense of smug self-satisfaction. But in this Facebook world saying you enjoyed spending time doing something hidden from full public view, quietly off the grid, brings you strange stares and ostracism rather than admiration and respect.
Found this sobering article at The Atlantic. It’s a great summary of this original commentary at the World Public Health Nutrition Association website.
These don’t stick to the usual, obvious health reasons, such as that processed food is high in fat and calories and lacks nutritional value. These also examine the marketing aspects of food – how ultra-processed foods are pushed on people, and how corporations design this low-cost junk to be habit-forming.
This is very much in line with Michael Pollan’s observation that “Instead of food, we’re consuming ‘edible food-like substances,'” and that the ways we consume food have also changed to our detriment. Even the act of nutritional sustenance has now gone postmodern.
It is the 21st century lifestyle corporations have imparted on us – We’re overworked, pressed for time, and lazy. This creates the need for quick, low-cost caloric intake. Less exercise and more stationary work have turned us into mere consumption and production machines. Combine this with ultra-processed foods designed to be sold anywhere at any time, and you have a recipe for an overweight and under-nourished population.
Don’t expect to see the widespread availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods to go away any time soon. The lifestyle which leaves us little time or energy to prepare food, and the society which prices processed food cheaper than real food, are spreading and entrenching, rather than going away or facing resistance.