You should cook more. We all should. But in the U.S., we senselessly overcomplicate feeding ourselves by operating under the assumption that every meal we make needs to be an Instagram-worthy production or that every meal has to be composed of food that meets all conceivable ethical requirements. We’re obsessed and overwhelmed by concerns and fears over food sourcing, food production, and nutrition, and the goalposts are constantly moving.
I want to simplify your food life by giving you a roadmap to feed yourself more effectively.
Buying food and cooking it is not nearly as complicated as the Internet suggests, and following a few guidelines can increase your confidence in grocery shopping and in your cooking skills. You don’t need much to get started, and hopefully reading this newsletter / website / whatever-this-is will encourage you to stick with cooking as the primary method of feeding yourself and your family.
I also want to address some of the concerns and fears that you have about what food to buy and how to navigate the raging seas of food marketing and labels. Some of the concerns are well-founded, and DO matter, whereas many are government-funded fear mongering or based on pseudoscience. I won’t waste your time with stats and summaries of scientific reports–you can find all that info yourself if you like. Feel free to fact-check me, I don’t enjoy being incorrect. Or, if you like, you can blast me on social media for having an opinion that differs from yours, which is what everyone else uses social media for anyway.
I’m suggesting that you limit your sphere of concern to things that actually matter rather than worrying about all the things. It’s daunting to step into the world of food writing and start researching nutrition or sustainability or even cooking; there’s simply too much information and it seems like everything you’re supposed to know about and care deeply about changes daily. I’ve tried a few fad diets, and will write about how they’ve affected my food habits in good and bad ways. Someone is always out there shouting about the next health trend or fad diet, and if you’re not careful, you’ll jump on board without really understanding why.
Lastly, I want this publication (that’s what I’ve decided to call it, just now) to serve as a reference guide–albeit a scattered, chaotic reference guide–as you begin your journey into dietary self-sufficiency. Expect plenty of bulleted lists and tips that you can bookmark, highlight, print out and hang on your fridge, or tattoo on your body if you like. If you do tattoo any of my words on your body, I would appreciate an email with pictures so I can show my mother that I’ve made something of myself.
I can’t think of a proper segue, but I think it’s worth mentioning that I will spend a surprising amount of time waxing eloquent about Taco Bell. It’s going to happen, so just…be aware.