Monday, April 23, 2012
Occupy your kitchen.
Right now there are huge May first Occupy rallies planned across the country. So much of the Occupy movement has directed anger and blame at the banks, particularly the big ones that were bailed out by the government. But it still seems like only a very small minority of these protests are directed at what I view to be an equally evil villain, the food coroporations, in particular the folks at Monsanto. I had the phrase "occupy your kitchen" running through my head for some time as a means of expressing this and it looks like someone from the Huffington post had already done an article about it here.
In fact it seems like the most radical thing we can do is cook our own food with locally sourced ingredients. . . but cooking is the problem. Many people want to buy local but when you start to live this way you realize the world is not made of boneless skinless chicken breasts and Campbell's soup. There is an art to cooking each part of an animal. A shank is different from a shoulder. All this knowledge has become a sort of unattainable alchemy to the modern individual and it does require a totally different approach to food, community, and convenience. I laugh that one of the cheapest, easiest parts of my food routine that I call my "fast food" is the thing that takes the longest to make. My bread is 24 hours start to finish, but once made it is truly fast food. But to cook this way one has to constantly be thinking of the future and planning.
I think we would be amazed at what a school of virtue is found in the kitchen. Patience, planning, reverence, attention to detail. All these are waiting for you in a pot of stock.
So what we really need right now are skill sharing seminars, cooking classes, maybe even real food tastings on the street to get people's interest. I hope we see these things blossom out of a movement toward less government subsidized eating.
On a total sidetrack however, my friend Jamie recently made a point about how so many people find the Eucharist to be such a crazy Catholic teaching but that if we can get people to wax poetic, gush and become ecstatic over real bread (not wonderbread) than maybe, just maybe, it will seem less crazy that yes, I truly worship something that looks, smells, feels, and tastes just like bread.