Compelling article in the East Bay Express this week: Back to the Microwave by Sierra Filucci.
The author talks about how she was torn between doing what is right for her family and the planet…and doing what’s actually right for her family. She even argues that, though slow, local food movement is outstanding for young urbanites and energetic retirees, it may actually be pushing already overwhelmed women back into the kitchen for a full 1950s three-hour meal prep.
Great read. Glad her family did the one month of microwave and one month of Pollan eating to show how it really affects a family. Mostly grateful so I didn’t have to do the experiment. Interesting results.
During the convenience month, Filucci feels “pressed into an unworkable space. The space between a smashed keyboard and preservatives—between time and health.” Everything was easy, not always fast, and universally tasted the same.
During the grow it and cook it yourself month, she remembers “that the pleasure of cooking is soon overwhelmed by the reality of eating with two small children.” But once they hit their stride, the food “was polyphonic, with the volume cranked up high.”
Filucci notes the silence about gender within the slow food movement, ignoring that in the typical family, women handle 63% of the food prep and cleanup. The men and women are exhausted after a long day and sometimes, even though cooking is faster, takeout is more tempting. She wants the sustainable food movement to realize “that what they ask of communities and households—while worthy and noble—falls unequally at women’s feet.”
I believe we all need to talk more about the costs, too, not just to families and time and the environment, but to families’ wallets. Eating locally and fresh, in dismissing the terrifically unbalanced and outrageous food policy in the U.S. (all GMO, poison-ridden corn. potatoes, and soy all the time), is designed to be unbearably expensive for most families. It costs too much for us to buy everything at the farmer’s market and through local farm delivery programs. That’s because of where we live, where people pay a premium for local and fresh. Damn them.