Published on October 6th, 2011 | by andrea devon2
cooking makes you care
In the New York Times Magazine- the Food and Drink issue- from this past Sunday, Mark Bittman says, “Cooking changes lives in ways that eating never approaches. Cooking makes you care about nourishment, family meals, nutrition, pleasure, relaxation, skills, control, health, the environment, culture and the earth.”
This is a foundational concept that underlies my whole cooking life and my cooking classes. Not only do I wish to inspire people and impress them with vegan deliciousness, I want to encourage them to change their lives as well. I’ve always loved feeding people, and whether it was cooking for my little brother when we shared our Mokihana cottage, or cooking for housemates for Manoa dinner parties, it’s always been a great source of joy in my life- and the outlet for my activism.
As Vegan Lisa wrote yesterday, “delicious food is powerful activism,” and cooking food is an essential component of that. Cooking food for others is truly gratifying- not just because it means accolades for the chef- but because it is a way to share the joy of vegetarian and vegan food without beating them over the head with politics and PETA idealism. The delicious food can speak for itself- the nourishment, the environmentalism, and health is all tied together into some delicious pasta, spelt muffin, or kale salad. This concept is also the idealism behind my cooking classes, especially as most students are not vegetarian. I think that by slowly integrating vegetarian and vegan foods into their lives, they too will begin to understand the importance of not eating meat. By learning more about cooking, you inadvertently learn more about nourishment, and health, and culture, and all the things that make you want to make the right decisions for your body, your family, and your planet.