In Salon today, an excerpt from Homeward Bound, from the chapter titled “Cupcake Feminists, Hipster Jam Canners, and “Femivores”: The New DIY Food Culture.”
In this excerpt, I talk about the sudden rise of interest in stuff like jam-canning and chicken-keeping among young, educated people, look at the perils of foodie nostalgia (was food really better in our great great grandmother’s day?), and examine the sexist and classist assumptions of celebrated food writers like Michael Pollan and Michael Ruhlman:
In progressive, middle-class circles these days, there’s the overwhelming sense that procuring and cooking the freshest, healthiest, most sustainably sourced food should be a top priority for any thinking person.
Food choices have become important political acts, with deep moral and environmental consequences. As self-righteous and irritating as this attitude can sometimes feel, it’s still speaking to a very real and scary truth. With rising obesity rates, a destructive system of factory farming, and terror-inducing 24/7 news stories about antibiotics in chicken and E. coli in spinach, many people have come to feel that their own food choices are among the most meaningful life decisions they can make.
…Our country is clearly in a dire state when it comes to obesity and the environmental impact of factory farming, so the fact that more people care about food is terrific. But the kitchen’s always been a fraught place when it comes to gender and class, and the twenty-first century is shaping up to be no different. For some, the new cooking culture is incredibly empowering. Others are finding themselves tied up in apron strings all over again…
Let me know what you think!
DON’T FORGET: Pre-order Homeward Bound by May 7, and we donate $1 per copy to the National Partnership for Women and Families.