Thursday, November 13, 2008

How will we feed ourselves? Food pantries feel the pinch

Pamela Metaxas at the Republican checked in with the area food pantries in an article on Tuesday, and the news is not good: as you might suspect, demand is up and supply is down. Well, few of us are better off this year than last. We need to find ways to feed ourselves.

There's a commercial on TV that drives me crazy. It shows a family in a car trying to eat a fast food meal. Soda is slopping, ketchup is dripping, and a hidden voice says, "Since when did this become a sit-down meal?" Next scene is set in a kitchen, eager family around the table, and mom pulling a pre-made Stouffer's lasagna out of the oven. "Now that's a sit-down meal!" the voice exclaims. Oh, yeah? Convenience foods are convenient, and that's about it.for value.

In future posts I intend to talk about community-supported agriculture, food coops, community gardens, kitchen gardens and bulk purchasing. But we have a long winter ahead of us, and the best food in the world will be for naught unless people start learning/remembering how to cook.

OK, I'm generalizing; I do know people who cook a lot and cook well./ But I'm not sure those folks are in the majority anymore.

We were on a pretty tight budget when I was a kid and I know now we usually ran out of money before the next paycheck. Coming from a French-Irish household, I can't say my mother was a very creative cook. Still, one of my favorite meals was potato stew with lots of black pepper. Basically, this was potatoes and onions sliced thin and thickened with a paste of flour. Maybe there'd be a small salad also. Then there was creamed peas and tuna on toast, or sometimes just the peas. Nutrition would balance out over time. Anyway, we got by.

My organization, Arise for Social Justice, is collecting "end of the month" recipes. if you have one, you can send it as a comment or email me at

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