November 9th, 2016 was a day few Americans will ever forget. And now we’re all looking for ways to feel less helpless, less at the whim of a government that doesn’t seem to share any of the values of the majority of its constituents. We can and should protest, write letters, make phone calls, run for office, and donate to the charities that need us to keep fighting. But sometimes it feels overwhelming. Every day spent not doing something to resist the new administration feels wasted. And you get deeper and deeper into a shame spiral about your inaction, which makes you do less, and then you feel guilty again, and YADA YADA you get the picture.
So here’s a radical idea if you’re feeling like you’re not in control of your destiny:
COOK YOUR OWN DAMN FOOD BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING EMPOWERING.
Make choices. Go to a farmer’s market and speak to the growers about their work. Take home some ugly produce because you’re not shallow – you care about what’s ON THE INSIDE. Buy organic meat at the supermarket. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you vote with your dollars. Organic, local farmers are going to need our help when agriculture gets even more deregulated and garbage meat filled with hormones and poison floods the market. Get a beautiful cookbook, a real one, in print, written by a person that cares about their work and their environment. (Might I suggest Small Victories by Julia Turshen who is a true boss?)
Spend a day figuring out an ambitious recipe. Roast a whole fucking chicken. Make something slowly with ingredients you’ve never used, like this Slow Cooker Coconut Lemongrass Chicken (pictured below). Prove to yourself that you are an effective human, and even if the whole world goes up in flames, you have the control to create something beautiful and nourishing for you and your loved ones.
This is what I’ve done so far. But I know my knowledge of the food issues affecting our country – food waste, industrialized agriculture, the cost of healthy food, food deserts, unfair wages, and many more – is limited. So I’ve applied to the Masters of Food Studies program at NYU, and G-d willing, I’ll be starting part-time in the fall.
Moving forward, this blog will have a bit more substance. It’ll still be snarky and weird and sometimes crude, but there’s a time and place for lists of the 22 Best New Cantaloupe Dishes of January 2017 (maybe?), and this isn’t it.
The universe might keep throwing 🍆 at us, but let’s not be afraid to make a damn good 🍆 parm.