state of cooking in american homes

dear world,

every once in a while, i am truly amazed at the way we consider cooking and eating in america today. i read michael pollan’s article in the NY Times, Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch eaarlier this week and while i certainly laughed at some of his sillier points, i mostly felt like crying by the end.

he discusses how the meaning of the word “cooking” has changed over time from actually making a meal from individual ingredients (like chicken, potatoes, celery, carrots and onions) to mixing together pre-packaged, pre-processed food. according to pollan’s reserach, the average american spends a little over half an hour cooking and cleaning up per day. yet, tv shows about cooking are wildly popular and take more than twice the time to watch than we spend cooking per day.

the notion that struck me the most is that 58% of households report cooking meals at home and something like 12 or 13% of men participate in kitchen activities. in our household, we have made a significant effort to reverse this trend. i don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking food comes out of a box and not out of the garden. MHM is the primary cook in our household so we’re part of the minority there. i want V to know that she needs to be home for dinner, to eat a meal with her family and share in the cooking process. i want her to understand how raw ingredients come together to make different flavors and textures and how she will be able to adjust to her own taste, not to the taste of a big industrial food processor.

See full size imagefor lunch today, we are going to eat eggplant, tomato and basil sandwiches. i am currently roasting the eggplant, MHM harvested the basil from our friend’s garden friday and the tomatoes are heiloom tomatoes purchased from the farmer’s market yesterday. i have hope for cooking in america and i’m doing my best to lead by example in this area.

sincerely,

cm

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