Without variations and without unexpected events, but also without curiosity, without discoveries: we have cleaned up the path of growth by making it a path free of bumps and bumps, all well paved. No doubts to interpret, no choice to make: straight road and without intersections. Generations have emerged accustomed to simplified, prudent and conservative paths. And calm even in the mouth!

To protect the child from the effort of experimenting with novelties, instead of accompanying him in the pleasure of discovering diversity, we have even changed industrial productions: panettone without candied fruit, tangerines without seeds, fish sticks without bones, chocolate without hazelnuts and now also the dove Easter without candied fruit! The children were fighting to steal the candied fruit of the panettone: today they have been eliminated, denigrated. Same thing for the legendary icing on the cake, which now rolls forgotten from the bottom of the plate to the garbage. We can find some answers to the reason for this change in taste by examining the food history of these young people: it is necessary to go back a long way, to when they had to face that delicate passage that weaning. The moment in which you have to accept to abandon the fluidity of milk, its reassuring repetition, always the same at every meal, to try your hand at the first meals, more or less soft and grainy; collide with the rigid cold metal of the spoon and accept and learn to manage bits and textures. Parents have always been able to insist, with due graduality, but with tenacity and perseverance, to bring their children to a diet that gradually became closer to their own, increasingly as they grow up, to reach the maturity of knowing how to eat, with one’s own tastes, of course, but with that variety which is the basis of a healthy diet. Weaning is a bit of a symbol, the metaphor of progress, of those who are willing, with curiosity, towards independence. Then came the fatigue, the difficulty of leading their children in the climb of the stages towards autonomy. We began to think that these difficulties that arise in the encounter with the different could also be avoided, giving up proposing it or modifying it in order to make it a little less different. Probably the idea of ​​producing seedless mandarins was born when the gardener found a basket full of unsold items because the parents, at the first annoyed sputtering of the children, had given up buying them: too tiring, complex, better a nice genetic selection! And if one does not tolerate the seeds, imagine if he can suffer from the annoying stickiness of the candied fruit on the teeth, much less the distortions of the tongue that runs into those obstacles. But there is also more: the pasta manufacturers, knowing that children are major consumers, reduce the production of spaghetti to give more space to short pasta. The reason? Most of today’s kids don’t know how to roll them on a fork, so they can’t eat them and end up refusing them. On the other hand, you know: for him short and white pasta, or with tomato, the unique and invariable diet of the majority of children!

These generations without not only no longer dare to use their mouth, tongue and teeth to move with curiosity among the many possible nuances of flavors and textures, but they also no longer know how to use their hands in dealing with food. And then, all penne, fusilli and farfalle for these fragile children that no one dares to stress anymore by teaching them to turn a fork in a plate of spaghetti. Isn’t it really that important to know how to do it? In reality it is: every loss of competence and ability has a cost for the person, who becomes less and less able, less able to extricate himself, less independent, less able to survive. In short: less and less intelligent.

April 2, 2021 | 08:03

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