A lot of us are taking a closer look at where our food comes from, and we’re not liking what we see. Rather than grabbing burgers at our local fast food joint or slapping a quick and easy boxed meal on our family’s dinner table, we’re starting to realize that quick doesn’t always equal healthy and some of the items on the ingredients lists of our processed foods are actually pretty gross.
We want alternatives, and in my opinion, vintage cooking is the way to go.
Why did vintage cooking get a bad rap?
Blame it on the 1980’s, which ushered in a new, health-conscious way of eating. Grandma’s mashed potatoes (made with real butter) were scoffed at, and your mother’s calorie-laden meatloaf that was lovingly made with red meat was scorned. Good old-fashioned home-cooking quickly lost popularity.
On the heels of the health-food craze came the “convenience is king” mentality of the 1990’s, and with it, tons of fat, calories, cholesterol and sodium packed into every easy and quickly-fixed bite. Then came the rise in obesity, increases in diabetes, and red-alert threats of heart disease.
Grandma’s cooking isn’t looking so bad now, is it?
Vintage Cooking Revival
Vintage cooking is just now starting to shake off the bad reputation that it has carried for the last couple of decades, and I for one am embracing it fully. Dropping the fast food and convenience habit isn’t easy (especially on those days when you have a million and one errands to run on top putting in a full day at work), but it can be done with a little commitment and planning.
Personally, I don’t worry about using red meat and real butter in my recipes, or making a batch of cookies for my kids to snack on after school. Part of the problem with our nation’s rapid rise in health issues is our increased reliance on technology, coupled with a slippery decline into sedentary living. As long as my family is keeping active, not overeating, and limiting our time spent in front of the TV and computer, we’re all burning off any extra calories we might be picking up from our old-fashioned meals.
Benefits of Vintage Cooking
And in exchange for spending more time in our kitchen, I’m reaping some major benefits, like those listed below:
– Vintage meals taste better.
– You have the option to use fresh ingredients.
– Most vintage recipes don’t call for things like MSG or high-fructose corn syrup.
– Old-fashioned recipes can be altered to include healthier ingredients like whole wheat flour, less sugar, or fresh veggies instead of canned.
– Cooking at home is usually cheaper than buying take-out.
Cooking Vintage is Greener
Many people have either heard of the buzz surrounding documentaries like Food Inc., or have already seen the benefit in eating locally, frequenting farmers markets, and learning more about where their food actually comes from. For me, cooking vintage goes hand-in-hand with this increased awareness of my food and it’s impact on the environment and the economy.
By cooking vintage, I’m also being greener by keeping a garden, canning my own jellies and jams, and raising chickens for eggs. In addition, I support my local economy by getting my meat in economy packages from a butcher shop in my small town, and hitting roadside stands to take advantage of produce like the killer-delicious sweet corn sold a few streets away from me, which also significantly reduces the carbon footprint of my dinner plate.
So if you’re tired of packaged, processed, and saturated-fats-to-go, feeling the need to eat “greener” (and I’m not just referring to the color of your veggies), or just like the nostalgia factor that goes with recreating the same meals your grandma might have, then pull out your vintage cookbooks, dig out the old family recipes, and let the vintage cooking movement begin!