May 192007

Cooking: It’s a lost art in America.

People increasingly have no idea what to do in the kitchen (aside from the microwave, of course), and the scary thing is that many people think this is something to boast about. For hundreds of generations before us, cooking was a basic survival skill. It seems to now be regarded as a luxury, something that can fall by the wayside while we fill our lives with “more important” things. But cooking is the art of nourishing yourself, your family, and your friends — what could be more important? Another aspect that’s being lost is the sense of accomplishment that comes with putting a delicious meal on the table and seeing your own satisfaction reflected on the faces of your dining companions. Now that so many jobs in our society fail to put a finished product in our hands, the kitchen is one place to reclaim the sense of usefulness that you seek.

Where did we go wrong? Why is it extreme to make your own food, to feed yourself well, and do it the way that people did it for thousands of years before this scary food industry came about? Why am I the anomaly because I eat food that I made from scratch in my kitchen instead of buying in the freezer section and popping in the microwave?

Whole-wheat bread dough with herbes de provence

Here’s the thing about that food industry: they exist to make money. Plain and simple. They are going to do what they need to do to make their food sell so that they can make money and if that means plugging their food so full of preservatives, carcinogens, and saturated fats that your health is sacrificed in the process, they won’t care. It’s not profitable to care. Corporations don’t have consciences, and food corporations are no exception. Besides, once you start cooking your own food from fresh ingredients you start to realize that processed food and most meals in restaurants taste like utter crap.

And that is why I trust very few people with my food preparation.

In fact, I think our society would be much better off if we all heard and understood the adage “if the person who made your food doesn’t know you and doesn’t care about you as a person, don’t expect it to be good for you.”

And so with those words, consider this blog launched. It’ll be about a love of good food made with my own hands (with perhaps the occasional guest foodie) so that we can all rediscover exactly what the thing we put in our mouths three times a day is all about. Food is too good to be eaten mindlessly!

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