Home Cooking May Not Be The Cure

An interesting article in ‘Mother Nature Network’ surveyed a new book titled  “Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It” and definitely throws down the gauntlet of the ‘pro-cooking at home folks’ to the winging-it-as-best-we-can hurried families today.

Home cooking can’t solve all of our problems — but we can do something about them. (Photo: Everett Collection)

Authors of the book, a team of sociologists and professors, studied North Carolina families for lengthy amounts of time (some for a period of five years), going with them to grocery stores, watching them prepare meals, and noting their eating habits. A lot of data, and with references to real people was collected. Their conclusion? “… having the time to shop for fresh ingredients, plan a well-rounded meal, and cook in a stocked and working kitchen simply isn’t a reality for many working Americans.”

That book is going to be quite interesting to read, based on the lives of nine poor and middle-class families and the struggle (generally devolving on the woman of the house) to furnish healthy, balanced meals for the family under time constraints and the ever-present worry of finances.

However, this isn’t another dystopian book or ‘oh woe – all is lost’ tone. The team also offers ideas to help parents, kids, communities: “Collective solutions that help people across all income levels include universal school lunches made with fresh food, encouraging churches and daycares to share their commercial kitchens, and community suppers are all ways to bring people together while lightening the load.”

Certainly the LFN is working hard at implementing many of those very suggestions. But we need to get more people involved who haven’t heard the term ‘food desert,’ or who don’t have two or more generations at the dinner table every night, or have no children currently in school. (Some people may not have heard of the LFN yet. Egad.)

Just something to chew over (pun intended), especially at this time of year, with most holidays revolving around huge meals and a crowd to feed on multiple nights and occasions. Can we do better to recruit people to ‘the cause’ in the new year ahead?

What seed will you plant today?
Terri Jenkins-Brady, LFNteam blogger