Alexa doesn’t have ambitions to become a chef — she’s currently wavering between a future as a lawyer, a teacher and an actress — but she’s health-conscious. And she really doesn’t like the food at McDonald’s. But she tells me that even though her favorite restaurants are Samurai and Fuji, the Main Line sushi spots, she just can’t stop thinking about the chocolate lava cake she had at Blush in Bryn Mawr for her mom’s birthday. “It was so good,” she says.
At school, she learned that soda has a lot of sodium in it. “And, it gives you burps,” she adds. So true.
“Salmon has what in it that’s good?” prompts her mom.
“Mega-3s!” says Alexa. (Close enough.) But Alexa is, at the end of the day, a kid. She’s twirling, and looking at a package on the counter. This contains (all-natural) fudge brownies. Finally, she shouts:
“I really want that brownie!”
Well, kids are still kids. Even the really sophisticated ones. Like anything else, balance is the key to a passion for locally grown, super-tasty food. So as we fret about mercury, hormones and pesticides — scary things, all — maybe our foodie kids will find a better balance. They’ll still chow down on Big Macs now and then, but eat organic chicken and free-range eggs the rest of the week. They’ll find a balance that’s tasty, sustainable, and occasionally a little junky, with plenty of Mega-3s. And they’ll continue to enjoy the pleasure that sharing meals has always brought to people. As Nick Normile reflected recently, “Cooking is a great way to get girls to come over to your house.”