“There’s a lot of invisible labor that also goes into feeding a family…”

Can I get an AMEN!?

This quote is from sociologist Sinikka Elliott, who together with Sarah Bowen and Joslyn Brenton, wrote the book Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It. And boy does this quote cover a lot of ground. There is simply a lot of labor.

     Decide what to eat.

          Purchase the ingredients.

               Store the food.

                    Cook the food.

                         Serve the food.

                             Eat the food.

                                  Clean up.

                                        Repeat.

 

The process is the same whether you are feeding a large family or only yourself. It’s a lot of work.

Planning helps when you are realistic about your time, your budget, and your skills. But planning won’t solve the social problems of food insecurity and economic problems of food deserts.

I like a lot of what food writer Michael Pollan has to say, but I think he completely missed the mark when he said to a live audience in Vancouver, “We’re going to have to fix our diet before we fix the whole economy.”

People living in poverty with little access to fresh food hardly have a chance to improve their diets. When Dollar stores are providing groceries to more Americans than Whole Foods, we must not pretend that access to food is equal.

So if you have the means for lots of food choices, celebrate. And if your celebration involves a frozen pizza, you get no judgment here, my friend. Let’s keep it real and be kind to one another, okay? Because as the writers of Pressure Cooker point out, we can’t save the world in our individual kitchens. It’s going to take a bigger effort.