Cooking dinner, it seems, has gone the way of the washboard. Reading the piece reminded me of a profile of Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown, who warned modern female readers to wait to be taken out to dinner 20 times before cooking for a man at home. The link between women's oppression and the kitchen is a powerful cultural idea, and it is perfectly understandable that a whole generation of women was proud to leave the stove behind.
But like Pollan, I find the statistics alarming. The amount of time we spend on food preparation has fallen by about 40 percent since 1965. At the same time Americans have added about an extra month a year to the time they spend at work. We are getting obese eating all this factory-produced, high-fat food. And we are losing a major pleasure in life. The basic skills involved in cooking--perhaps always devalued as "women's work"--are all but lost. "Who is going to teach the next generation to cook?