Pre-fab

I came across a social media thread this week that became really ugly when one person took offense at the implication in a news article that preparing one’s own meals was healthier than eating ultra-processed foods. The offended party went on the attack and claimed that home cooking was just a dick-measuring contest, and then other people chimed in to say that home cooking embraced an uneven division of labor between the sexes, and it was also ableist against neurodivergent people, it went against historical norms and so on and so forth.

Then some home cooks came in and said, “No, no, no, it’s really easy to make a (insert meal requiring a recipe)… you just take your microplaner with the garlic and you blanch the green beans and sear the chicken and and and…” and basically proved the dick-measuring argument from the other side. It was pretty tiresome all around, and the whole thing revolved around the conflation of self meal prep with home cooking.

I know that people who are working long hours at low-paying jobs can get stuck in a fast food rut, but the anti-cooking people in the thread weren’t saying anything about that. I am making an assumption here, but I think the arguers were white-collar workers who had not spent much time either working at or eating at fast foot establishments. They wanted mess halls where you could make a choice from trays of food and sit down at a table. They were waxing nostalgic about school cafeteria food. The binary of “home cooked meals” and “home cooked meals cooked by someone else” was all that was being argued.

Who said these were the only choices? Food does not have to be difficult. You can eat a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. You can eat a can of beans and a raw carrot for dinner. You can put some cheese in a tortilla and call it a raw quesadilla. Go ahead – you deserve a break today.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Woah that sounds as if it was a soul-destroying thread to read :-( Sadly, some folks love unnecessary confrontation :-(

    • It was! And yes, it could have been a decent discussion but the desire for confrontation was very high. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it…

      • A shame as a decent discussion could have ensued – as your post cogently showed!


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