Are we getting dumber?

I need more smart food!

There are all kinds of ‘smart’ things in our world today - smart phones, smart appliances, even smart homes. I read an article this morning about a new smart fridge that is being launched at a fair in Las Vegas. The fridge will help prevent you from wasting the food that you bought and put in said fridge.

I'm sorry, but I think we may have gone too far, if my fridge needs to keep track of my food because I can't be bothered. 

Current statistics say that as much as 40% of food bought by consumers in North America is wasted. I'm not talking about food that farmers or producers don't get to market, or food that stores don't sell - this is stuff we buy but end up throwing out instead of eating. 

I know that sometimes the leftovers don't get eaten, but I don't think that is what the fridge is going to track. It will be working with barcodes, and tracking the ingredients you put in (2 apples, 1 lemon, 3 chicken breasts, etc.). 

Don't know about you, but I'm ashamed to think that I am dismissive enough to buy so much food that I can't even eat it all. I don't need a smart fridge, I need smart food that will yell at me so I notice it.

I was struck by another bit of information this week in the movie, ‘The Big Short’. Dr. Michael Burry, who first discovered the problem with the housing market, is now putting his investment money into water? And one of the projects that Bill Gates has been working on with his international foundation is how to create more clean water and better sanitation with a machine that converts sewage to drinkable water. 

Meanwhile, in North America we consume more bottled water than anywhere else in the world (in Canada, 68 L per capita per year). With the exception of a few areas that do have difficulty with safe water, we live in places where the tap water is not only safe, but is sometimes actually used for bottled water. Don't you ever feel as though you're buying snake oil when you pick up one of those bottles?

As though it isn't enough to worry about how much food to eat and where to get our water, there is also the list of super foods to incorporate in our diet. They could just as well call them smart foods, don't you think? 

Omega fatty acids in fish oils and coconut oil are supposed to improve our brain function, acai and goji berries are antioxidants that boost our systems, and quinoa is not just an ancient grain but a food containing every nutrient we need (who knew?!). Then there’s kale, with its numerous benefits and bonuses, including vitamin K (I don't remember ever hearing about vitamins past E when I was little). 

It seems as though the plan was that we would get smarter, as technology got smarter, about all the super foods and supplements. Instead, aren't we getting dumber? Relying on the smart appliances to do the work, and making excuses for our laziness? 

If the coffee is too hot, we should blow on it - not blame the barista for serving it. If we gain a few pounds from eating too many burgers and fries, we should try a salad at home and maybe take a walk rather than demanding that the fast food place list the calories in their meals. And do I really need an app to tell me what food I should eat first in my fridge? Or should I just pay better attention to what I'm buying and plan to cook?

I know we are not perfect, and life is busy. Awareness is a big start, and owning the results of our decisions sets a good example.

I am going to take the time not to gulp down my coffee.

When I have a burger and fries, I'm just going to enjoy the extra calories; I'll have a salad tomorrow.

I've put a white board on the fridge to list recipes I want to cook and foods I want to eat this week. 

I want to be smart. I don't want to rely on smart things to keep me going, and I know this takes more than just putting kale in my burger and coconut oil in my coffee. Although, maybe those are not such bad ideas.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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