I attended a brainstorm session today about weak links in advancing the integrity food movement. Like most of these in the last couple of years, the discussion gravitates to convenience.
Thirty years ago people like me were predicting that by now the integrity food movement would morph into a renewed love affair with domestic culinary arts. We thought people would rediscover their newly techno-gadgetized kitchens for preparing, processing, packaging and preserving food.
People like me were absolutely wrong. Instead, the TV dinner fad morphed into a processing organic food fad. Now it's morphing into a complete meal fad. In our culture, the centrality of food in daily living does not exist. Food is simply an inconvenience for the important things of life.
And so it's worth asking, when we don't have to spend any time acquiring, preparing, or washing dishes, what do we do with all those hours we save? If we used them for something meaningful, it would be one thing. But it looks to me like we simply use those saved hours to watch more foolish videos, play more video games, send texts to each other and share the latest shallow viral social media post. It looks to me like the cultural winners in this tradeoff are the Kardashians.
The result of all this convenience is an absurd addiction to electronics, professional sports, and entertainment; perhaps even shooting up people in high schools. Maybe if we returned to more meaningful activities, society would not fall apart at the seams. For starters, look at the community and home-centric activities in the Little House on the Prairie Books. Can you imagine everyone in your neighborhood memorizing a poem to recite at a community get together? How about a spelling bee? Goodness, spellcheck means we don't even have to think about spelling any more.
I'm not on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat; I don't even have a smart phone. I read once that genius requires a lot of alone time and walking time. Sounds good to me.
So I ask: what are you doing with your convenience time?