Frugality in cooking has a long and powerful history and a pathetic present. With the exuberant abundance of the post-war half-century, many Americans forgot the lessons brought over from the old countries, honed during the rapid but harsh development of the 19th century, the lean years of the Depression, the rationing of the 1940s. Old-timers made soup from scraps, saw potatoes as a main course and considered three squares the pinnacle of good living.
Can you imagine? Now fast-food joints litter the eight-lane thoroughfares that rip through most cities and suburbs. If you want a pizza, you reach into the freezer or make a phone call; you get hungry, you pop something in the microwave, pull into the drive-thru, wait on a line. We have become accustomed not to real food but to “convenience,” one of the filthiest of modern catchwords, and to the ill health and waste associated with it. (Some estimate that 50 percent of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted, and that doesn’t include the junk that isn’t worth producing in the first place.)
I have re-read this post from Mark Bittman, not just because it espouses so many food ideals that I believe in, but because of many conversations I’ve had recently.
Food is political. It's worth getting worked up over. It's worth making conscious decisions about. I believe this more and more, especially reading after reading more of the excellent reportage and opinions of Bittman. In another article, he wrote:
Cooking changes lives in ways that eating never approaches. Cooking makes you care about nourishment, family meals, nutrition, pleasure, relaxation, skills, control, health, the environment, culture and the earth. And it leads your kids to care about these things too.
Why not make your Mondays vegan, too??
Cereal with almond milk
Salad combo: roasted broccoli and leeks and chickpeas
Veggies and hummus
* Admittedly, a lame dinner. But the french fries and brussels sprouts AJ and I had last night at Joseph Leonard were vegan... that counts, right??