When we let corporations do the cooking, they’re bound to go heavy on sugar, fat and salt; these are three tastes we’re hard-wired to like, which happen to be dirt cheap to add and do a good job masking the shortcomings of processed food. And if you make special-occasion foods cheap and easy enough to eat every day, we will eat them every day. The time and work involved in cooking, as well as the delay in gratification built into the process, served as an important check on our appetite. Now that check is gone, and we’re struggling to deal with the consequences.
~ Some guy I’m becoming a huge fan of (article gets good, imho, around part 5)
So I’m going to violate all sorts of internal rules and just type, and then post. Taking inspiration from my friend Cliff, who blogs like its going out of style. And my friend Chad, who tends to blog about something a bit obscure (World Of Warcraft) and because he talks about his own experiences and doesn’t preach, make the subject fascinating. I’ve known FoW’s next “theme” for quite a while now but haven’t had time to write at the level of sophistication as when I had a different job (case in point: missing is the blog entry where I quit being a programmer and started being a full time dad)
I’m starting backwards. Really I should start telling you about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. But that was soooo three months ago, now I’m all fired up about the last four hours I spent reading Michael Pollan’s random articles. Except why should I talk about that when, amazing as they are, I should post a book review about In Defense of Food first, as that’s how I first encountered his life-changing prose. God Dammit, will I ever get to my point?
Well, if this was a book, or an essay, I suppose I’d start with a paragraph or seven outlining what you might expect to encounter in subsequent entries (though I make no such promises; I’m bad at fulfilling promises). Don’t click those links, I’m just being thorough. I’ll get to my point, promise, starting on the next sentence.
I’m going to spend the rest of my life eating it (or, if I’m not careful, scientifically formulated imitations thereof). Approximately three times per day. And until a few months ago I didn’t give a rats ass what I was ingesting. I had preferences and I knew which nutrients I should avoid (fat, or possibly carbohydrates, or protein? fuck, I’m confused again) but really, I was happy to eat whatever the restaurant, or my wife, or my mother, or whoever, put in front of me. Jamie Oliver crusaded to improve school lunches first in the U.K. and more recently in America; I caught the TV show (I highly recommend torrenting episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6) and it has inspired me.
I desire to avoid processed foods of all types. I want to reclaim the family meal. I want to cook healthy whole meals for my family, friends and anyone else who wanders through my kitchen. I have resolved to try to be a better cook. But I’m just a beginner. Sometimes beginners spend their passion preaching instead of practicing and none of you want to hear me tell you how to eat or what to eat. And if I ever veer into that territory then I’m sorry because all I want to do is share with you a piece of my life that excites me. And should I stray, please bitch slap me in the comments. Seriously, I am a pretentious ass some days so feel free to knock me down a peg any time it seems appropriate
My mother raised me just fine, cooking meals from scratch, passed down by her mother and her mother before. She taught me to cook and I made meals from scratch; I moved away and forgot it all as quickly as possible. Now I wish so badly that it had played out differently. I’ve bought four cookbooks in the last five months and all because I’m craving desperately to reclaim something. I could spend a hundred thousand words trying to capture what that is, but I don’t yet have a simple phrase to encapsulate it… if I knew what it was, I’d have it already. But I have the scent. I know the direction I want to move. And I want to take my family with me. And you, even if just a voyeur.
I want to change my life. I want to change my food. I want to eat fresh ingredients, I want to make tasty meals, I don’t particularly want to blog recipies (though I might one day) because that’s as boring as an ikea assembly manual. Yet I do want to share this amazing treasure I’ve found. The idea that I can opt out of a system that is selling me bread that thirty years ago would’ve, by law, been required to label itself as imitation bread (at least in the U.S.)
Notice that I haven’t hyperlinked anything in three paragraphs? Also, it’s 8 minutes past my absolutely must click publish self-imposed deadline and I haven’t event done the bare minimum of CSS-styling. Time to end this post then. Please, do me a favour. I mean, please, I’m begging you: kick my ass. If I haven’t posted in a week then demand I surrender the domain name. The universe didn’t open itself up to me for shits & giggles. Let’s see what I have to say next. Until then I’ll leave you with somebody else’s words:
“Easy. You want Americans to eat less? I have the diet for you. It’s short, and it’s simple. Here’s my diet plan: Cook it yourself. That’s it. Eat anything you want — just as long as you’re willing to cook it yourself.”
~ Same article, quoting someone else