Thursday, May 1, 2008

Grassroots cooking

With a national economic woes, a global food crisis pushing prices higher and higher, and apparently never-ending foot-dragging on the farm bill, it's not hard to feel anxious about the future of food in our communities. But daily meals continue bringing people together. Nothing like sharing meals and sharing recipes bridges generations and cultures -- and there's no better context than the dinner table for debating politics and problems.

In the article "The Extravagant Gourmets," Sara Dickerman writes about the problem with most food writing -- namely, that it's purpose is usually to convince readers to buy more (and more expensive) food. Dickerman's article ends with a call to arms: more food writers should emphasize the economics in home economics. She writes:

The time seems right for a mainstream voice (better yet, voices) to marry the pleasures of the table with the reality of a reduced budget, perhaps by using what we've learned from the food revolution. Michael Pollan has already made a big splash this year by recommending that people shy away from packaged products and eat less meat—two steps that are not only a grassroots vote for a new kind of food system but that will help save money [...] A new home economics could harness seasonal ingredients and real ethnic flavors; it could weave a lusty appreciation of food with a sober appreciation of the grocery dollar.
We've decided to take on Dickerman's challenge by posting what we're calling grassroots recipes. Look forward to cheap, tasty, everyday dishes that come straight from the kitchens of Just Harvest's family and friends. We may not nutritional experts like USDA (whose list of thrifty recipes includes nutritional info and the cost per serving), but our passion for good eating is surpassed only by our passion for advocating that everyone, regardless of income, is entitled to eat well.

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