Monday, May 7, 2012
New Orleaneans are culturally inept to change. We still use nineteenth century modes of transportation, namely the streetcar. We still have early twentieth century types of corruption in city government. And there are still signs of racism which seem will never go away. Just as these things seem to be long over due for change so does our food. As good as it is, wat we eat has basically been the same for a century or more. Think about what we eat; whether it be red beans and rice, jambalaya, dirty rice, gumbo, fried or boiled seafood, delicious as they may be they are still very simple and very old recipes. And I think that speaks to the continuity in the socioeconomic status of most New Orleaneans. When we were shucking oysters Thursday, someone described them as a poor man's food. If u think about what most New Orleaneans eat, it is very simple and therefore relatively inexpensive to prepare. We are essentially eating like we are in the Great Depression, except maybe that isn't as outlandish as it sounds. As one of the guest speakers pointed out, I believe she said that over eighty percent of the children in Orleans Parish Public schools qualify for free or discounted lunch. She also explained how wat the schools are feeding the children is not healthy and is quite possibly leading to an increase in obesity. She explained that the reason why the food is so unhealthy is that its very inexpensive. So if the food that is being served to the children in school in unhealthy and leads to obesity because its cheap, then the traditional New Orleans dishes that we prepare for ourselves that is cheap to fix must be unhealthy and causing an increase in obesity. I mean think about it, it's basically food that is meant to pack on pounds in small portions when there is a scarsity of food or money. Sounds like we've got some big problems in New Orleans, and ironically what so many people love about New Orleans(its culture and tradition) is what is intrensically wrong with New Orleans.