In 1995, Qwerty peoples were reaching adolescence. OJ Simpson went to trial and the glove didn’t fit, so he was acquitted. Timothy McVeigh imposed his terror in Oklahoma City. And I had my first kiss by a ‘real’ boyfriend.
One other epic historical moment happened in 1995 that would shape every Qwerty’s college cooking experience: The George Foreman Grill.
Knock out the fat!
I could be drawing a grandiose conclusion here, but this simple kitchen gadget changed our generations relationship with food – especially our male members. As we reached our independence, be it college or just plain old figuring things out in a grungy apartment lifestyle while we pursue our most hedonistic dreams, we all had one of these suckers enter our place of living. Our parents bought them for us as a right of passage, our friends borrowed them from us as a right of friendship, our landlords accepted them gladly over fire-threatening charcoal.
We were now ‘cooks’. Young men grilled up ground chuck, pork chops, and even steaks. Young women put their veggie burgers and turkey burgers on it to sizzle and sear. Even toast could be made in desperate times.
After months of neglect and an alarming amount of blackened sticky meat goo layered the non-stick grill, we let our George’s fall to the wayside. We blamed our roommates for the disgusting mess and cursed the damn thing for not being dishwasher safe.
But Qwerty kids learned something from this experience in two divergent ways. We learned to have a relationship with our food and we conditioned ourselves that everything, home or out, can be fast. It was fast cooking, but it was somewhat healthy. It was prideful and it was our first ‘adult’ appliance. While two-thirds of Americans are obese or over-weight, and we struggle daily to fight the mass-production of fat America, Generation Qwerty fights for locally sourced foods. Generation Qwerty fights for community farms yet still stops to snack on cereal at home. We know the meaning of free-range chicken, but we still love Chick-Fil-A.
And we’re being marketed to in the exact formula as the Foreman Grill commercial below. One-third of us are already obese! We have a relationship with our food but it’s not necessarily a healthy one. The marketers have figured this out and we’re gobbling up every ‘gluten free’ labelled meat product, every ‘organic’ potato chip, every ‘soy’ ice cream. Even the Mayo Clinic describes marketers as capturing our generation in a way that’s making us fatter. We outnumber Baby Boomers, and they are not going to miss an opportunity to latch on to our quick-fix, craving induced eating styles.
So I remind us, in the words of our great food leader George Foreman to: Knock out the fat! And don’t let marketers steer your food decisions. . . but the bun warmer option on this grill is enticing.