In September 2017, I attended my second International Food Bloggers Conference, this one held in Sacramento, CA. With all the workshops, breakout sessions, field trips, and keynote speeches about the food blogging industry, you would think that home cooking is well and alive.
Actually, home cooking is dying. It’s not dead, but it is seriously in threat. As it is, Americans spend the least amount of time shopping for, preparing, and cooking food compared to other societies around the world. That doesn’t mean we don’t at home. It does mean that we have changed our habits around eating to include foods that are pre-made, pre-packaged, and maybe only one step away from MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) or “Just Add Water, Heat and Serve.”
For a great article that summarizes the studies behind the slow death process of home cooking, take a look at Epicurious writer David Tamarkin’s post that includes a reference to Audie Cornish’s NPR interview where he talks about the the dying of home cooking.
I wrote two lengthy blog posts on the topic of the Betty Crocker syndrome on a blog called MyAllergyAdvocate.wordpress.com, and so I don’t want to revisit these posts here. But I mention them to say that while we have the food industry to blame for their targeted marketing to women in particular to convince them that the least time spent in the kitchen is the smartest approach to nourishing one’s family, we have only ourselves — and our health — to look to in terms of our response to the war that is being fought over what goes into our grocery stores.
We either buy the junk and keep funding the food producers who make convenience foods that keep us sick or operating at sub-optimal levels, or we demand more by only buying natural, real-food, and low-processed options that are nutrient-dense, and free of the yucky stuff, excess sugars, fats, and sodium, cheap fillers, and common inflammatory ingredients.
As for me, home cooking must not die. If it does, so shall I, because all that other stuff would slay my gut.