The majority of this post is not my writing, but I just loved what this chick had to say. Since my whole food allergy journey has begun, you guys know I’ve been thinking about food in different ways. I’ve also joined a Yahoo group called Foodlab, where people with different food allergies and issues share recipes and talk about food.
Many are nursing moms dealing with the same issues I have been, so I’ve become quite fond of this group. It probably takes up too much of my time! Maybe I’d make more blog posts on all the things I want to passionately discuss if I wasn’t on Yahoo groups! I’m also a member of an attachment parenting and EC group.
Anyway, she was responding to the common feeling that many of us have in this culture, that we don’t “have the time” to cook.
Read and ponder, and check out her site. I enjoyed it.
“I wanted to address this some more, not to pick on anyone, but because
it’s a really common refrain in our culture, and it’s something worth
thinking about really carefully.
I used to be too busy to prepare food too. Amusingly enough, it was
before I had kids. I lived on packages; top ramen, powerbars, mac n
Now, I work fulltime, I have a nearly five year old and a two year
old, I’m the Publications Director for ICAN, I am in the process of
fixing up my house and getting it rented while my family moves onboard
a boat. I have two freelance editing contracts and two book contracts
going right now, and I’m a moderator or leader/contact on four
different email lists. And I make two or three meals a day, pretty
much every day.
A very wise person told me, “either you spend time in the kitchen, or
you spend time at the doctor, but one way or another, you’ll spend the
time.” When I was young and invincible, I thought she was crazy, but
now that I see the people around me going down for one health
complaint or another, and I see westerners as a people accepting
higher and higher levels of disease as “normal”, I see what she meant.
What we eat, and how we eat, as a culture is killing us just as surely
as the frog in the slowly-heated pot.
The Carol Flinders essay, “The Keeper of the Keys” that is the
introduction to “Laurel’s Kitchen” has got to be, hands down, the best
expression I have ever read, anyplace, for why spending time in food
preparation is critical not only to your physical health, but to the
mental health, and the heart, of a family. It’s worth the price of the
cookbook, even if you can’t eat most of the recipes in there as a
GH/CF/DF person. I keep the book for that essay alone, and I read it
whenever I freak out about being the kitchen slave. Whenever the siren
song of our culture, about being “too busy” starts telling me that I
could just buy one, and then I’d have more time.
The learning curve involved with preparing food from scratch is really
steep. I have been at this for five years seriously, although I grew
up in the country, and I have in fact eaten a hamburger whose recipe
started with :”first, go butcher the cow… then grind the meat…
then grind the wheatberries for flour….”. I have bought cookbooks
that rocked, and some that sucked. I have cycled through crap
appliances and things I would not be without. Some recipes went from
the bowl to the plate to the compost bin, and some have become family
favorites. Our eating habits, our shopping habits, our kitchen
supplies, the entire way we think about food has changed completely.
It has been maddening, and frustrating, and intriguing, and
enlightening. My entire relationship with food has been reworked, for
This does not happen when one allows corporations to feed one’s family.
You know the whole saw about doing your chores, about “Do it happily,
or don’t bother doing it”? Same deal with food. I don’t think that
someone in an assembly line can make food for my family and have it be
energetically the same as the food I prepare. I know that food
prepared with care is totally not the same as food prepared for the
There’s a selfish component as well. I have yet to meet commercial
food that was even close to as yummy as what I can make. Fresh almond
and rice milks are so superior to the stuff in the cartons, it’s
ridiculous. Not to mention greener; no carton, no trash, no power to
make the factory go. Making them, my process is down to five minutes;
it takes way longer than that to earn the money to go to the store to
pick up the carton to wait in the line at the checkout and to drive
back home again. I think it’s a false economy to always buy what you
need, but it’s a thought pattern that has been carefully nurtured in
our culture for a very long time about all kinds of things.
I think that one of the finest things about this list of Monica’s is
that we can help each other not have the hellish learning curve that I
had, share tips for making it faster, more bearable, more accessible,
when pretty much the whole rest of the culture is encouraging us to
work more to get more money to spend it on suboptimal dietary choices
so we spend more on doctors and pharmaceuticals and the whole economy
keeps spinning on our graves.
Maybe I’m overly cynical. It wouldn’t be the first time. But if I can
encourage you to do no other thing, please think about it really
carefully, and see if you can’t find the time. Maybe we can start a
revolution with nutmilks…”