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Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Death of the American Kitchen

My dear friend Charlie posted a link on facebook to a NY Times article today, called "A Food Manifesto for the Future". The article, written by popular food columnist Mark Bittman, discusses ways we can create a healthier, more sustainable future in regards to our food consumption and habits.

You can read it here, in the NY Times Online.

One of the tips it suggested was getting back to cooking at home. What a simple concept. In today's bustle and rush, so many people rely on the convenience of food made to order--restaurants, take out, drive through, delivery.

When I was a child, I embarrassingly remember Red Lobster being the absolute height of haute cuisine. We'd all dress up and it was a major event. (of course, some would argue that their cheddar biscuits are still definitely a major event)

It seems like cooking at home has become the luxury, and anything else is status quo. In a way, that makes me sad because so many restauranteers have a harder time getting established due to the saturation of the market. It's difficult to make a niche for yourself when there are a dozen competitors within one city block. The end result, especially in this economy, is a selection of mediocre establishments, all competing to find a way to produce the cheapest food.

Did anyone see the article about Taco Bell's meat not meeting the standards necessary to claim its status as "ground beef" because of all the fillers? Were you surprised? Me neither. How else are you going to be able to stuff a 3/4 pound burrito full of "beef" and charge $.99?

But, of course, it's no wonder WHY more Americans aren't in their kitchens. With every time-saving, labor-reducing gadget on the market, cooking has become work. Even with all the fancy shmancy choppers, peelers, graters, mixers, beaters, and whatnot, there is still an art to cooking that no machine can duplicate, that must be done by hand.
And as hurriedly as most families rush through dinner, who wants to put forth that kind of effort when you're rewarded by nothing but grunts and face-shoveling?

Of course, this doesn't help, either. ;) Of all gadgets and gizmos out there, I adore my dishwasher best of all. Without it, there would be no Happy Baker.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. I love to cook at home. Each day I try to be more and more self suffient- quit relying on convinence foods (bread now goes in that category for me)


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