It really is great that Michelle Obama is growing an organic vegetable garden at the White House. She’s sending a great signal about buying locally to eat healthfully.
But, she’s not going far enough:
However, when The Washington Post asked Mrs. Obama for her favorite recipe, she replied, “You know, cooking isn’t one of my huge things.” And last month, when a boy who was visiting the White House asked her if she liked to cook, she replied: “I don’t miss cooking. I’m just fine with other people cooking.” Though delivered lightheartedly, and by someone with a very busy schedule, the message was unmistakable: everyday cooking is a chore.
Cooking is a chore? Sadly, for most people, it is. To those, cooking it much like sweeping or washing dishes — an annoying task that must be completed to maintain a household.
It’s a shame that prepared and packaged meals have taken the place of real cooking in too many American homes.
As we lost our skills at the stove, we also lost something less tangible but no less important: the opportunity to spend time together in the kitchen, talking and cooking.
Indeed. One of the most pleasurable things in life for me is to cook for others. It gives me a creative outlet, lets me explore new things, and shows my family and friends that I like them and want then to be happy when they are in my home. It’s something of a catharsis after spending an irritating day at work. I can think of few things better than preparing a meal while having a glass of wine with my friends and family.
An added bonus is that cooking at home gives me the ability to control my food in order to make it more tasty and healthy (I’m starting to put ground carrots into most everything I cook, as the carrots don’t seem to change the flavor of most dishes, but that addition makes my dishes more healthful.
Getting away from fast food and processed food is an admirable goal, but it would be made better if the art of cooking were seen as the next step that will help people live happier lives.