The Collapse of Cooking
As I have mentioned before, Chris and I eat out a lot. To be honest, it is a habit that was formed years ago during a crisis in our lives and by being reactive we seared into our routine the default of eating out. I actually love to cook and am pretty darn good at it (if I don’t say so myself). Plus, I have access to the most amazing local food here in Nashville. So where’s the disconnect?
There is an unmistakable connection between our nation’s health and the decline of real cooking. We have been taught that it’s easier and better if we stay out of the kitchen. Instant this, instant that. “Semi-homemade” recipes, “No-Cook” recipes, “Meals from a Can” recipes, “Microwave Dinner” recipes and the list goes on and on. And then of course, the ease of eating out allure.
Michael Pollan breaks it down very simply for us: “There are a lot of people who fashion themselves as committed to local and sustainable food that aren’t cooking that much. I really do think that cooking is very important. It’s really important for the farmers because it means you’re going to be buying real food and not processed food, so that means the farmers will capture more of your food dollar.
It’s really important for your health, because you will never use as much salt and fat and sugar as a corporation will use cooking for you. And you learn really valuable lessons in the kitchen and your children learn valuable lessons in the kitchen.
So, I still think we have a long way to go on rebuilding a culture of cooking. Everyday simple cooking. I’m not talking about having to consult Julia Child before you can take a pot off the rack. I think that’s something we can all do more and do better.”
This is the change that needs to take place. We must start cooking. Simple, wholesome, fresh, local meals. This is a lesson I am learning, and am finding the value of more and more each time I cook. It’s time this locavore created a new habit. My pledge for the present: I will cook 3 meals at home a week with local food. What’s your pledge?