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Re: “Back to the Microwave

Obtaining and preparing food is neither difficult nor mysterious. Eating fresh, simple food from sustainable sources is easy, affordable and practical. I was seriously taken aback to read that you believe that you can't make your daughter zucchini or something like it every night. You don't have to make your own bread and pasta, raise your own eggs, or grow your own vegetables to do something better than travel-weary convenience foods. Just like we check the labels to make sure our foods don't have HFCS or trans fats, we can keep an eye on how local our foods are. Sourcing local, wholesome products in the Bay Area is easier to do here than anywhere else in the country. We have the opportunity to know our farmers, our butchers, our cheese mongers, and those relationships are invaluable sources of knowledge and components of community.

Part of eating sustainably is doing what is sustainable for your family - despite your interpretations, Michael Pollan's message is not an all-or-nothing mandate, and I don't think you're going to be banned admission to the next Slow Foods event if you are known to resort to the occasional Dr. Pepper or Lean Cuisine. However, as with most things in life, you have to be relatively organized and make strategic choices to make it work for you personally - so cook in batches over the weekend and freeze things or use it up over the week, dry some of that pasta when you do make it, order your vegetables and meat from a CSA to eliminate shopping trips, have a tomato canning party at the end of Summer, don't attempt to cook things beyond your skill or experience level when time is an issue, and teach the kids simple tasks like grating cheese or tearing up salad. When your schedule requires the convenience, go ahead and buy prepared foods - even, yes, a rotisserie chicken - from a local market, hit up your local restaurant or even a taco truck. These are acts that directly benefit people who live and work in our community without taking too much time out of a busy schedule.

Finally, a woman whose husband does most of the cleaning is not unfairly saddled with the burden of cooking. Sounds like a pretty fair divide, there. On behalf of my own mother, the single mom for whom the bag of salad was practically invented, I have to point out how good you've got it. You really have nothing to whine about, except that, like most people, you feel guilty and inadequate when compared to an ideal. None of us are perfect, but that is no excuse not to do your best and strive for better.


Posted by Sarah on 09/28/2009 at 2:59 PM

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