Posts Written by C.

Home Cookin': Connecting Women’s Liberation & the Food Movement

A SYTYCB Entry

Oh the days when our mothers would spend half a day in the kitchen, prepping, dicing, frying, baking, boiling, broiling, freezing, canning, scrubbing and cleaning so that we had home cooked meals! Every day! That was the time before TV meals, before cheesy puffs, before the era of convenience foods that lined the grocery store aisles, packaged in colorful boxes with paragraphs of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Back then, the grocery stores were smaller, quainter versions of themselves and sold only real food. Yes, real food, like celery, spinach, fennel and ham…

Popping up in the conversations around food activism is this strange nostalgia for “back in the day” when people took the time to prepare their dinners and sit down at the table to eat. Mark Bittman explores this nostalgia in his TED talk, “What’s Wrong With What We Eat.”  Michael Pollan in one essay, reveres his mother’s attempts to reproduce Julia Child’s recipes. Pollan reveals his own ideas for the decline of home cooking in the same essay: “Women working outside the home; food companies persuading Americans to let them do the cooking; and advances in technology that made it easier for them to do so.” He goes on to say: “the year Julia Child went on the air — 1963 — was the same year Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, the book that taught millions of American women to regard housework, cooking included, as drudgery, indeed as a form of oppression.” [emphasis ...

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