So many reactions to this Kim Severson piece.
I think we tend to want to find a camp "It's the end of civilization!" or "It's the best thing since sliced bread!" And I imagine when bread slicers were created people reacted in similar fashion.
But here's a thought: maybe the process of connecting to our heritage through food, with our friends or family through food, connecting to the hunting for recipes, for ingredients and whether we find THAT enjoyable or loathsome....all these reactions, maybe they can and do live side by side, maybe even in our own homes.
If a kit would help someone, say a school-aged or teen, develop some confidence in the kitchen, or help a spouse who normally doesn't cook because they never have and are reluctant to ask guidance - maybe these are good things?
And maybe a delivered meal kit does help someone explore a new cuisine or technique? And maybe it's also true that for many of us this seems to gut what we love about cooking. Maybe there's a huge environmental cost to all that packaging and all those deliveries. How does that compare to the footprint of takeout delivery or wasted groceries?
Do people who learn a recipe from a kit, then know how to replicate it without the kit? How to plan for three or four meals with little or no waste by actually planning meals and grocery shopping? Could these kits actually support local farms like Al-Freshco here in Boston and be low impact on the environment (delivered by the founder on a trike)?
Maybe all these things are true?
Give 'em something to talk about
National Geographic -
I was delighted to join the conversation at National Geographic's The Plate, with my friend Maryn McKenna. She, Charlotte McGuinn and i talked about essential life skills, like learning how to feed one's self, cooking, are no longer part of most school curricula. We envisioned something like Americorps maybe the Roast Chicken Corps. Everyone knows it's back to school time. What would it look like to have an afterschool cooking club? Or to make an interdisciplinary course that links history, geography, biology, and cooking?
Do you cook? Do your kids cook? Are they learning to in school?
With apologies to my scientist friends, I do not use equations every day, but I eat at least three times a day. Not from a box nor from a frozen block of something. The personal and public health consequences of our decreasing food literacy and cooking proficiency are clear.
Curse the darkness or light a candle, I prefer to light a candle. That's part of why I began private cooking service. People are hungry for basic culinary skills and even not so basic ones. I love the idea of a Roast Chicken Corps.