14 October 2007

Notes from an uninspired cook

For some reason I've been an uninspired cook lately. Of course, I could go on with excuses, but come on, it's all the same isn't it? Busy with work, crazy schedules, feeling blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Perhaps it's a form of immersion journalism, though. I am finally getting serious about something I've been thinking about for years -- saving the dinner hour in our culture. Perhaps resuscitating it is the preferred term.

Don't worry, I'm not going all holier-than-thou. I'm not even thinking big -- well, too big, that is. I'm thinking about my community. I've finally found a platform, and that has provided a new kind of inspiration. So, I am doing research and creating a documents meant to help families come together around their own dinner tables.

This is a huge undertaking, but with the way food, obesity and politics are colliding, the time is right. People are willing to listen. The trouble, though, is that the way we eat, the literal way food finds its way to our mouths, is so deeply wedded to our own familial cultures that is becomes a very difficult and personal habit to change. Meals become rituals that are passed down from one generation to the next. Some of them start in the drive-through at McDonald's, and others with the slick plastic-covered brick of Ramen Noodles. Fewer and fewer start with raw foods. The end result is generations of people who know only how to cook from boxes and kids who have trouble identifying simple fruits and vegetables in their original form.

My goal is to help families plan healthy meals, shop for groceries and cook healthy meals for their families. Sound simple? We'll see.