Recently I had to replace my beloved stove. It had served me well over the years with family dinners, parties and countless cooking experiments. I researched the various models, features and recommendations and was prepared to make an educated, informed decision.
When I finally started making the rounds at the appliance stores to check out the new ranges, I wasn’t prepared for a specific feature I found on a majority of the ranges. Chicken Nugget and Pizza pre-set buttons. What’s this? Does our nation eat chicken nuggets and pizza to such an extent that we need to have those two specific foods singled out for pre-set buttons so we can heat them up in a moment’s notice? Are we perceived by appliance manufacturers as consumers of convenience foods in massive quantities?
Other countries already see Americans as huge drive-thru/convenience food eaters; is it any wonder the appliance industry followed suit? What will be next? Refrigerators with high sugar beverage or energy drink dispensers? It’s no wonder the current dietary guidelines have started to shorten their estimates of life expectancy—we know our children won’t live as long as their grandparents. Their diets are not health-supporting.
The 2015 dietary guidelines recommend that Americans start to shift their food choices from convenience foods to more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to improve overall health. In the next couple of years there will also be more health messages touting the danger of excessive sugar in beverages and energy drinks.
At a recent meeting with colleagues, I observed several co-workers pull yogurt, fresh fruit, vegetables with hummus, and various vegetables out of their lunch bags to consume during our working lunch. It struck me how easy these simple, healthy foods are to eat, yet so powerful. I am grateful to be part of a group of health-focused individuals that are not just “talking the talk,” but also “walking the walk.” Let’s all do our part to improve the American diet and get healthy along the way!
P.S. I ended up purchasing a range that has no pre-set nugget/pizza buttons, and look forward to future cooking adventures!
Written by: Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, email@example.com
References: Am J Clin Nutr January 2015 vol.109 no.1 6-16