While much time and attention is being paid to the obesity and diabetes epidemics, the nutritional content or lack thereof of American meals, and our sedentary lifestyles, an important piece of the puzzle remains largely swept under the rug. As a culture, we are not taking time to share our meals together at an actual table. According to surveys published by the Journal of American Medicine less than fifty percent of Americans eat a sit down meal at home on a regular basis. Instead we eat in our cars, standing up, in front of the television, or simply not at all. When we do sit down to a regular meal it is riddled with interruptions and iPhone. The era of the Donna Reed dinner is entirely over. Walk into most homes today and find the dining room table either covered under a mountain of papers and laptops or missing entirely.
The reality is that sitting down to regular meals cooked at home increases the nutritional content of your diet, decreases the cost of food, improves digestion, encourages communication, and provides regular quality time with family. Meals are where we talk, laugh, plan, and listen to one another. The importance of sharing a meal is historically ubiquitous and cross cultural, it is how we honor important events and people and the touch point for family life. Skimp on television, miss out on your twitter feed, forget to update your status, but make room for making meals and eating them as well. Not all the vestiges of by-gone eras should be cast assunder.
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