Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Spring!

And she's back!

Okay, so maybe I've been gone for two plus months...

No, I haven't starved to death...

There have been a few things going on.  I've been busy.  Work has been rough.  It's been winter.  There was probably some SADD going on.

But mostly, I was uninspired.  Frankly, I've been uninspired for a while.  I eat local.  I love it and I want to share. But I don't have an exciting story and an exciting recipe for every day of the week.  Or sometimes even every day of the month.  And, frankly, I have a hard time believing that anyone really wants to read my recipes every day.  Maybe that's the low self esteem/SADD taking over, but at the best it seems pretentious, and at the worst it seems boring as hell.  Maybe I'm wrong, but if I'm being completely honest here, I hardly ever follow a recipe anyway.  And then I'm left two days later, writing my blog, and trying to piece together what I made from the picture.  If I remembered to take a picture.  And how much garlic did I put in those potatoes?

But that's not the main reason that I'm uninspired, either.  I want to write an interesting blog that people want to read.  One of my many degrees is in Advertising/PR.  I want to be marketable.  But in an attempt to be marketable, I feel like I have backed myself into a corner that I just don't want to be in.

See, the one thing I keep hearing from my friends is that eating local - or even just eating healthy - is too hard.  It takes too much time.  It's inconvenient.  And I don't agree.  I want to show people that it's not hard, and that it doesn't take to much time, and that it's not inconvenient.  Because I'm a teacher, and I want to teach people to be able to cook for themselves.  Because when you cook for yourself, it's better.

But here's the thing:  It is hard.  It does take time.  And it is inconvenient.

Food should be inconvenient.  

If it's not inconvenient, I would argue that it's probably not food.  It might be edible, but it's probably not food.

Food shouldn't be convenient.  Think about it historically.  Just over 100 years ago, pretty much everyone was working hard just to get enough food to live.  All day.  Every day.  That was your job.  Find food.

Think about all the health issues this country suffers from: high blood pressure, hypertension, obesity, diabetes... Why?  Because food is too convenient.  Or more specifically, because edible non-food is so convenient.

I can hear the outrage already - you know who you are and frankly I don't care.  Who the hell am I to say that food is convenient when there are so many people in our country and in our world who don't have enough food?  When have I ever been hungry?  You're right.  I haven't.  I don't know.  Sure, there were those two years when I chose to be hungry - but that just adds insult to injury, doesn't it?  I mean, there aren't a lot of eating disorders when food is really scarce, are there?

But when we talk about food deserts (those places in the city where grocery stores have been replaced by "foods" stores and other small corner markets), we're talking about grocery stores.  "Food deserts" generally are full of fast food restaurant and processed foods, and, really, what is more convenient than that.  Poverty is a terrible issue, and it definitely affects eating habits in our country and beyond, but it is not the issue I'm going to talk about here.  It doesn't mean that I don't care.  It doesn't mean that I don't recognize that some people simply cannot afford to eat in the way I recommend.  But, when that person does get something to eat, what is it?  Is it healthy selection of food?  Or is it a selection of processed, canned, or "instant" non food?  Whether or not a person can afford it, food desert or organic grocery store, the convenient, edible non-food items are there.  They're everywhere, they're far easier to find than food, and they're NOT food.  And you shouldn't be eating something that's not food.

And, I guess, that's what I want to talk about.  I don't want to tell you why it's easy.  I want to tell you why it shouldn't be.

So it's spring, and it's my birthday.  And spring is the season of re-birth.  Two springs ago, I became a locavore.  Last spring, I wondered what that meant in a sustainable sense, and I floundered.  I couldn't answer that question.  This spring, I say I don't care.  I say this blog is for me, and maybe I don't care if that means it's not marketable, and if that means I'm never going to get my own movie, TV, or cookbook deal.  Maybe I just got a bit more ranty, but that's okay.  I want to talk about healthy, delicious, happy, wonderful, INCONVENIENT food.

And I feel a bit more inspired about it.

Happy Spring!