Friends, let’s talk about this article, published last week in The Washington Post.
Have you seen it? If not, let me summarize it for you here: cereal, the ultimate “I’m-too-lazy-to-eat-anything-else” food, is losing popularity with younger generations because it’s so inconvenient. You know, because you have to rinse out your bowl when you’re done eating it.
Obviously, people these days don’t have time for things like opening boxes, pouring things into a reusable, eco-friendly vessel, and then taking the five seconds required to rinse said vessel when they are done. Instead, they opt for fast food, or pre-packaged products with disposable containers that can be eaten with one hand, so they can spend those precious minutes focusing on… whatever it is that’s so important.
Forget what this means for the cereal industry, because frankly, I couldn’t care less if they make a few billion dollars less per year… just please tell me this isn’t so. Because if today’s generation is too busy for frosted flakes, I think it’s safe to assume they won’t be too keen on cooking, either.
Perhaps it’s because I’m surrounded with people who are self-proclaimed foodies, or who care about the sanctity of a sit down meal every once and a while, but somehow I thought this trend was reversing, not getting worse. I thought more people were caring about the foods they eat, and actually slowing down — even just a little bit — to enjoy them. We all know hashtags don’t lie, right? #slowliving
Last week I shared this interview, where I was asked “why do you write about food?” The gist of my answer was this: To inspire people to get in the kitchen and get cooking, no matter their skill level. Because I get it — when I first started cooking, I had no idea what I was doing, and the prospect of fast, easy, grab-and-go items was infinitely more appealing than dirtying dishes in the hopes of creating something palatable.
But, call me old fashioned, I believe there’s something to be said for slowing down, and savoring food. That there’s something to be gained besides calories from the cooking and eating of a meal. Or, as MFK Fisher put it, “there is communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine is drunk.”
Am I sometimes too lazy, or too busy, to cook? You better believe it. Sometimes I eat cereal for dinner, or order pizza, or eat an entire bag of white cheddar popcorn and call it a meal… don’t worry, I’m not Martha Stuart, and I’m not trying to be. I don’t pretend it’s realistic to cook every single thing from scratch, or to never buy convenience foods. Let’s be real, here. But still, my goal is this: to inspire others to get in the kitchen and get cooking, no matter their skill level. To sit down from time to time, throughout their day, and savor what they’re putting into their mouths. Preferably with people they care about. (And if I can help make that a little easier, with recipes or tips or advice, all the better!)
I am all too guilty of getting caught up in the “busy busy busy!” mindset that we seem to have these days, but the more I see it, and recognize it for what it is, the more I believe this to be true: the over-glorification of “busy” is harmful to our health. And, in the words of Luciano Pavarotti: isn’t it nice that every once and a while, we must stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating?
I think so.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments below. What do you think of the Washington Post article? Do you think we should ride the wave of convenience foods as far as we can, or do you think there’s something to be gained from slowing down, and savoring life?
I hope this Monday is treating you well, friends.