Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saving money through home cooking

I'm re-reading the Shopaholic series. I love them. I love Sophie Kinsella's books. (I tried one of her real books - Madeline Wickham and it was boring.) I own them all - All the Shopaholic books, Can You Keep A Secret, Remember Me?, The Undomestic Goddess, and Twenties Girl. (That's the latest and it was in paperback at Kroger, *grab*)

Anyway, in the first book, Rebecca tries to cut back and save money by making curry at home instead of just ordering "takeaway" (I love how unapologetic the books are in their British-ness!) and it's a disaster.

And it got me thinking about a post at FWD from a while ago - The New York Times Tells You How To Eat, which details how the organic food movement is steeped in privilege - you need the money and you need the time. And the energy. Or the ability to stand and cook without the pain making you shaky and forgetful (did I start boiling that water?).

It got me thinking about a recent commercial for Red Baron frozen pizza and "pan pasta" which shows a bunch of pizza delivery people eating at someone's home, saying "Your mom makes the best pan pasta!" implying that it's better than theirs. The mom has her back to them, holding the Red Baron box.

You know why I order pizza? Because I don't want to cook. (Though I loved nuking these pizzas - forget the brand - and just picking away with my fingers, not even making slices.)

And it also made me think - frozen food? Shouldn't she buy the ingredients and make it herself, if she really cares about these people? I mean, who knows what evil chemicals are in Red Baron frozen pizza and "pan pasta"?!

The initial outlay for pizza ingredients will cost more or about the same as a ready made one, but they never factor in the time when it comes to "oh, just make it yourself so you don't get those nasty chemicals in your body!" My time is worth something. The only time mentioned is the time in the oven. I'm sure some cookbooks do mention the full prep time... but if it's too long, is it even worth it? Time is a form of expense as well.

Racialicious has a new post up about "sustainable food" and how it is seeped in more than just able-bodied and ... um.. time? privilege.
Sustainable Food and Privilege: Why is Green Always White (and Male and Upper-Class)

We'd all like to eat the "healthiest" "best" food, but you know what, it's not practical for most Americans. It's not practical for me and my family at all - the cost alone keeps us out of that club. Not to mention, I'm in pain. A lot. So maybe I could fiddle around and make something - but making food should be fun! - but I shouldn't be required to.

And I do worry about the environment, but I have to take my medication, I have to be alive. (Or I won't get to see Kites this weekend! Hrithik on the big screen! BYODB - Drool Bucket.)

So I take pride in what I do - putting a plastic bottle or paper in the recycling bin on campus. Or eating fruit. I refuse to feel guilty for what I could have done, I only focus on what I can do. I know, I'm supposed to be a tree-hugger, but I'm allergic to them and one of our trees has termites so I'll just gaze fondly at the trees right now.

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