Can cooking save us?

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Getting back to Jamie Oliver and TED and kids eating vegetables. You watched the video, right? And you freaked out when the kid couldn’t identify an eggplant and thought it might be a pear, right? If you are here, reading this, I’m very, very happy, but we’re all in the same choir singing to each other. Ideas anyone?

I for one am willing to donate my time and skills to getting people to cook. You have a venue, and I’m around I’ll come and teach for free.
If anyone else feels the same, let’s organize a web presence and do what we can to get people back into the kitchen. This is a call to arms, bang your pots and pans and make some noise.

Getting back to Jamie Oliver and TED and kids eating
vegetables. You watched the video, right? 
And you freaked out when the kid couldn’t identify an eggplant and
thought it might be a pear, right?

It’s not that the kid is stupid.  It’s not that his parents are stupid. It’s that somehow
basic cooking skills slipped away from us, washed away in rip tide of
marketing.  Mad Men who made us
think cooking was hard, or dirty, or menial, or not worth it. People shopping
at Wal-Mart where there is never ever a season, how could they know better?

Jamie’s got heart and he’s tackling this one town at time, and
sending out messages to the world to wake up, but we’re talking about needing to
reverse oceanic tides before there is any difference in the way people eat.

First, take a look at supermarkets. Everybody loves Trader
Joes, we finally get a Trader Joes in Manhattan, and I go to see what the fuss
is about.  And I still don’t get
it; there is nothing but prepared food. High end, but it’s still prepared,
processed food. Whole Paychecks (aka Whole Foods), take a walk around, the
fruits & vegetables are arranged like precious art at precious prices, and
even so, most of the store is prepared and processed foods.

We leave the States for a few months, and when we come back,
I’m shocked! I want to know what happened to butter?? There is 5 times more
shelf space devoted to “I’m not butter spreads” then there is to butter.  Yogurt for kids now needs to be sold in
garish colors with a quarter pound of candy on top, and more sugar inside. Everything
comes with dried, processed, reconstituted blueberries that are sure to anti
all of my oxidants, even though I’m fairly sure it might be better to eat fresh
blueberries. On one hand, it defies the laws of nature and common sense; on the
other hand processed food makers and marketers are making a bundle.

It’s not going to be an easy battle to buck the ad men, they
adapt.  Kraft Foods bought up
organic companies, not because of philosophy, but because of market share
strategy. I’m not anti-capitalist, but I am a Cynic and believe that if Kraft
saw a trend toward Soylent Green they would buy that up without a qualm.

There is a supermarket chain that is advertising how a family
that eats at home will save money…and what do they show Mom buying? Prepared
foods that cost substantially more than the raw ingredients.

Or my new favorite nominee for “You Gotta Be Kidding” ad of
the week: The Anti-Soda Tax Ad.  A
nice, local grocer explains how his customers bring calculators to the store so
they can keep track of every penny they spend; see because they need every
penny to buy soda so they can save up for their diabetes treatment.

 

OK, enough bitching. If you are here, reading this, I’m
very, very happy, but we’re all in the same choir singing to each other.  Ideas anyone?

I for one am willing to donate my time and skills to getting
people to cook. You have a venue, and I’m around I’ll come and teach for free.
Email me: Judith [at] aromacucina.com.

If anyone else feels the same, let’s organize a web presence
and do what we can to get people back into the kitchen.  This is a call to arms, bang your pots
and pans and make some noise. 

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