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The luxury of a home-cooked meal November 30, 2014

Posted by mareserinitatis in feminism, food/cooking, societal commentary.
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The best dressing you’ll ever eat.

 

The other day, I had a discussion with someone who was complaining about something related to fast food. I jokingly said that one way to avoid the problem was to, “You know, buy food at the store and cook it at home.”

That’s a luxury I can’t afford. I don’t have enough time to do that.

I have to admit this comment really got under my skin a lot more than I expected. The primary issue I have with this is that the real luxury is having the income that allows one to purchase precooked meals on a consistent basis. Claiming that cooking food at home is a luxury makes it sound like it’s something I get around to as a way to relax after having bon-bons and a massage on the couch while watching reruns of Quantum Leap.

The other reason it got to me is because I have no choice. Since being diagnosed with celiac disease, I have discovered there are only about three restaurants in the city where I feel comfortable eating. I cannot eat over at friends’ houses because most of them don’t understand the dangers of cross-contamination. Even a crumb of gluteny food leaves me in pretty bad shape for nearly a week. I imagine a lot of people think this is hyperbole; I wish it was.

I have no choice but to cook almost everything I eat. I cannot buy prepackaged foods. If I am lucky enough to find ones I don’t react to, they are priced to cost nearly twice as much as an equivalent food containing wheat. I can’t afford that. In fact, most people I know can’t.

This comment left me feeling like somehow my time is less valuable than this person who said it. Cooking is most definitely work, and it’s time-consuming work, as well. It’s bad enough that domestic work has been ignored in economic terms forever, but now we’re trying to rebrand it as a luxury?

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