Selecting The Best Foods
Every stage of cooking is important: meal planning, meal preparation and presentation, yet before any of this can take place it is essential to pick the things that you are going to cook. The ability to select high quality foodstuffs is also very important. Food deteriorates after a particular length of time and knowing which signs to look for is the art to this specific aspect of cooking.
There are several considerations to product selection. For instance, the cook has to estimate whether the produce is fresh, ripe or over ripe. Is the amount of waste associated with this product acceptable? Will this produce provide the required amount of nutrients? Do the intended consumers like it or will they like it? Does the price validate selecting this option?
Balancing all these considerations is quite some feat that perhaps a billion people carry out every day and maybe several times a day. It is quite remarkable. However, the best cooks or household managers have to have experience to carry it off it correctly most of the time and you can only acquire experience by ‘doing’ and doing involves making gaffs from time to time. There is nothing wrong with that – making mistakes is a normal part of the learning process.
There are basically three elements to the successful selection of food. These are: 1) the substance of which it is composed; 2) its worth or potential to supply energy and or nutrients and vitamins and 3) how readily these qualities can be extracted in a digestible way.
It is just after you have answers to these three questions that you can know whether a foodstuff is worth the money. In other words, although you might always know the cost of an article of food, you may not always know its value.
It is obvious from the above that the cook who takes his or her job seriously has a mammoth task on hand to know what human bodies need at the different stages of growth, illness and even just recovery from normal wear and tear; to know what items of food can provide those needs; how to pick foods that are at the peak of condition and how to prepare those foodstuffs so that you gain the most of that foodstuff’s potential.
Then there are the other considerations of whether you or your family will eat those products at all or whether they will only eat them if prepared according to particular recipes and finally, whether you can afford those foods.
As far as preparing children to eat or at least taste different foodstuffs goes, it is important to get started as soon as you can. Children do not know what is good for them and allowing them to eat hamburgers and chips every day, because it is ‘all they will eat’ is nonsense. Children have to be taught to eat what is put in front of them until they are competent to make their own decisions.
Shirley’s Comments: This article takes preparation to a higher level than most. As a at home chef, I generally know that the produce is ripe local or organic and combine the appropriate combinations of meats/ fish vegetables and occasional starch to make a meal. As a general rule, some meat / fish for protein and fresh produce fits the nutritional needs for most. Cooking from scratch with the freshest ingredients make the best happy meal for the whole family to enjoy>
Children eat whatever you have taught them to eat. If you have brought them up eating lots of hamburger, they will continue that and if fresh fruits and vegetable has been their diet, they will form those habits and preferences. Changing how you feed children and your family create resistance sometimes. I think it is best to try new things and I have adults in my life that will not do that so it’s a little much to ask from a child. They will do as you do! Be adventurous and take a bite, just one.