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Fast Food/Fast Facts

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Riffing upon a recent exchange by Spark Message with a Sparkie friend . . . thanks, MTN_KITTEN!! www.sparkpeople.com/mypa

There was a time for our ancestors, not so very long ago, when feeding their families took a LOT of work.

My mother, for example: who was one of 10 children, and whose father was a disabled railway signal man. She grew up, without a whole lot of self-pity, in what by today's standards would be considered relative poverty.

There was a huge vegetable garden out back, and all the children were expected to help. With the digging, the planting, the weeding, the watering, the harvesting, the canning. The watering involved a pump and buckets. The canning involved a wood stove and chopping wood.

And that meant carrots and beans were not wasted. Every morsel counted.

When it comes to digging out and harvesting facts upon which to base informed opinions: there was a time when not everybody had access to school: maybe not even beyond grade eight. My mum was able to complete high school and attend teachers' college -- the only child in her family to do so. In that era acquiring facts was quite a bit of work. Buying a newspaper. Going to the library. Reading. Weighing the information. Thinking about it. Writing essays to pass. In my mum's case, preparing lessons to teach . . .

Now we are surrounded by fast "food", relatively cheap: and of dubious nutritional quality. We are what we eat. It's that fast food upon which our health is based.

Now we are surrounded by fast "facts", relatively cheap -- a quick click, Google -- and of dubious informational quality. We are what we think. (Think: not feel? Cogito ergo sum?) It's those fast facts upon which our opinions are based.

Obesity of body. With all kinds of physical consequences for our health.

"Obesity" of opinion too. With all kinds of social and economic and political consequences.
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