While I was working on a new essay for Demeter Press, I took a quick break and found this. It’s long, but worth the time it takes to read it. I found myself nodding my head over and over again as the author lamented the new “culture of shut up” that has permeated social media. A bit of a twist on my “sea of unknowing,” but more pop-culture friendly for certain.
The essay I’m working on is for an upcoming anthology on Mothers and Food and as I sat down to take my first stab at it in the unseasonable sunshine in the backyard, I was on fire. Chronicling my years as a child of the PopTart Generation (my name for the 1970s era of “better living through chemistry”) to my early years as a mother trying to do right by my babies when it came to food, and through our gluten allergy diagnoses, I am writing about the challenges of raising healthy children when you don’t know what information is real. So many of the things I thought I knew about food have been proven wrong – processed foods aren’t healthy, fertilizers do more harm than good, GMOs are horrifically frightening, rice isn’t a healthy alternative to wheat if you’re gluten intolerant thanks to the arsenic levels, alternative grains aren’t always the best, and on and on…. The whole essay now weighs in at 2500 words and it is decidedly defeatist, so I’ll have to work on finding a way to lighten it up and find the silver lining somewhere. That said, I do often feel a little undone by the latest food news as it comes my way because it seems to create more work for me as I plan meals and shop and cook for my family. I come from a Ukrainian great-grandmother who loved nothing more than cooking for friends and family and I inherited her inability to cook for anything less than an army. I absolutely feel like cooking for others is a way to show them I love them and at our dinner table, the more, the merrier. But I struggle with the fact that eating is hard work these days. And don’t tell me to plant a garden in my backyard because I most certainly did NOT inherit that ability from my Gram. I’ll go out and support the farmer’s markets, thankyouverymuch, but only if they grow organic produce.