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Perceptions Vs. Reality--I thought more people were cooking/being self-sufficient/etc...  RSS feed

 
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I hadn't realized just how insulated I am from what is happening in the rest of the country. I follow all these homesteading groups on facebook, and talk with you all here on permies, and a lot of my friends and family are becoming more self-sufficient/healthy. I figured more an more people around the country are becoming more self-sufficient and healthy. I figured it was a tend.

I was wrong.

https://hbr.org/2017/09/the-grocery-industry-confronts-a-new-problem-only-10-of-americans-love-cooking

I’ve spent two decades consulting extensively for consumer packaged goods companies. Early in my career I gathered some data for a client on cooking. This research found that consumers fell into one of three groups: (1) people who love to cook, and cook often, (2) people who hate to cook, and avoid that activity by heating up convenience food or outsourcing their meals (by ordering out or dining in restaurants), and, finally, (3) people who like to cook sometimes, and do a mix of cooking and outsourcing, depending on the situation. At the time, the sizes of the three respective groups were about 15% who love to cook, 50% who hate to cook, and 35% who are so-so on the idea.

Nearly 15 years later I did a similar study for a different client. This time, the numbers had shifted: Only 10% of consumers now love to cook, while 45% hate it and 45% are lukewarm about it. That means that the percentage of Americans who really love to cook has dropped by about one-third in a fairly short period of time.



LESS people are cooking than they were before. More people are outsourcing their food prep by getting microwaved dinners and eating out. But, because I don't see these people, I think more and more people are following the healthy/self-sufficient lifestyle trend. So often our perception of reality is so skewed by who we see and associate and chat online with. And, we can be so wrong.

How do we widen our view so our perception of reality is more...complete?
 
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I have conversations like this all the time at the farmer's market...

Buyer: "What's that?"
Farmer: "A carrot."
Buyer: "How do I prepare it?"
Farmer: "Add it to a soup or stir fry."
Buyer: "Uh, uh, huh? uh..... K. thanks. bye."

I really live in a different world.
 
Nicole Alderman
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When I met my husband 12 years ago, he was storing his carrots in his silverware door. They were shriveled little nasty things by the time I found them.

We've both learned so much in the past 12 years. It's hard remembering that other people haven't been learning along with us.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Nicole Alderman wrote:We've both learned so much in the past 12 years. It's hard remembering that other people haven't been learning along with us.



It's even worse for me. I grew up on the farm that was started by my great great great grandmother. I still live in the same village. I started cooking for my family more than 50 years ago, using traditional foods and methods. I can't remember the last time I ate something from a box.
 
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I remember being at a food pantry,and being told i could have as much produce as I wanted!
As my wife and I loaded up on turnips, thee different people asked us what they were, and how one
would cook them.
Being able to cook in a world of non cooks is like being able to spin straw into gold.
You pay every day for what you dont know.
 
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Hi Nicole,

Everyone's posts gave me deja vu several times over.  Most young people are beyond clueless, there needs to be another word for it!  Brainless doesn't quite fit, but I'll work on it.  I've met several young people that don't know how to peel a potato, or that a french fry is a potato!  Unbelievable. 
It' really is like knowing how to spin gold!  Twenty years ago when my kids were young, the would have friends over and I can't tell you how many didn't know how they liked their eggs.  Or how to make pancakes, I mean come on!  When I asked one girl about how she like her eggs, she asked what I meant and after explaining it to her she said "Oh, you must mean fancy cooking. We don't fancy cook at home."  I fell over!  If cracking an egg into some butter is "fancy cooking"  I knew I was in the twilight zone. 

I have a sad longing in my heart for a world without electrical power, but then I think of all the young people that would die because they didn't know you could eat a potato, and I don't wish for it quite so hard.  Although it would be interesting.......
 
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Marcus Billings wrote: " We don't 'fancy' cook at home." .



And therein lies one major factor in the problem.
 
pollinator
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My mum taught me to cook but why dont they teach this at school ?
Its been great for getting girl friends and saving money . Far more important than most of the history lessons I suffered from

David 
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I hadn't realized just how insulated I am from what is happening in the rest of the country.

LESS people are cooking than they were before. More people are outsourcing their food prep by getting microwaved dinners and eating out. But, because I don't see these people, I think more and more people are following the healthy/self-sufficient lifestyle trend. So often our perception of reality is so skewed by who we see and associate and chat online with. And, we can be so wrong.

How do we widen our view so our perception of reality is more...complete?



Just look at the fast food joints in your nearest town around lunch time to see how the rest of folks eat.  Even on TV and movies folks come in with bags of fast food or boxes of pizza.

I was watching a reality show where the guy was trying to explain to his girlfriend why she needed to feed her child something other than chicken nuggets and french fries ... her explanation was something like  "I am busy and don't have time" 

I feel that most people know nothing or very little about nutrition.  I am not sure they even care. Do the schools now days even teach nutrition or about cooking?

My DH and I were talking the other day, he said a guy was ranting about spending $16.00 on a hamburger ... it wasn't that the hamburger cost $16.00, it was that he spend $16.00 on food that wasn't fit to eat.

About every one to three months when we go shopping in the big city, I buy a $1.25 burger at McDonald's then I do their survey to get a free burger.  I usually don't get the free burger because it has a 30 day expiration .

 
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Oh man I have a story I'd like to share that fits along the lines of what others have mentioned. A several years ago, my friend Marty was buying groceries at the store. He's standing there while the cashier rings up his items. She grabs an ear of corn, and stops what she's doing, and is really looking the ear of corn over. Marty, thinking he may have grabbed some bad ears of corn, grabs one and proceeds to look it over as well. Then-

Marty: "is something wrong?"
Cashier: "is this corn?"
Marty: "yeah..."
Cashier: "huh. I've only seen corn in a can."

Marty was a bit taken aback by that statement. The cashier was a young girl, clearly still in high school. I can't imagine that this is common with todays youth, but the disconnect this girl had with food and where it comes from is really sad.

"I am busy and don't have time"



This notion has been spoon-fed and marketed to americans for at least two generations now. Along with tv programs reiterating this concept, advertisers selling "food" products on tv tell us on commercials "how busy we are" and "their food fits into our busy lives" and other such sayings. American culture, for the most part, has become a culture of convenience, from the packaged foods, to grocery services that deliver to homes, to robot vacuum cleaners. I'm sure this likely isn't only america and is happening in other countries as well.

I think the reality is people do have the time to cook meals at home, if they choose to, but most of them have filled their 24 hours in a day with other activities, and are therefore too busy. What I find interesting is cooking shows on tv seem to be wildly popular, but it doesn't seem to reflect with more people cooking meals from scratch at home.
 
David Livingston
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American culture, for the most part, has become a culture of convenience,.................. ones does wonder whose ?
Great thread this encouraged me  to cook "Toad in the hole" this lunchtime

David

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5822/toad-in-the-hole-in-4-easy-steps
 
John Weiland
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James Freyr wrote:

Marty: "is something wrong?"
Cashier: "is this corn?"
Marty: "yeah..."
Cashier: "huh. I've only seen corn in a can."



Actually, as long as the veggie items at your grocer don't have a 'scan label' somewhere on the item, you can use this ignorance to your favor.  Find your favorite leafy green that may be a bit on the spendy side.  When the check-out person says "Whhhaaaa.....What is THAT!!!?"  ---- Just say "cabbage" (or the least expensive green item in the veggie case).  Hey, if they don't know the difference..... ;-)
 
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I have conversations like this all the time at the farmer's market...

Buyer: "What's that?"
Farmer: "A carrot."
Buyer: "How do I prepare it?"
Farmer: "Add it to a soup or stir fry."
Buyer: "Uh, uh, huh? uh..... K. thanks. bye."

I really live in a different world.



Well, at least there's a spark of interest.  How much effort would it be to push someone who has at least that smidgen of curiosity over the edge of actually trying to cook?  I've been asked this so many times at the supermarket and it still amazes me.  I always take the time to explain (usually to someone with a cart stuffed with Tombstone pizzas, diet Pepsi, and Cap'n Crunch). 

My son is a chef.  He used to do in-home catering for wealthy types in the city.  He told me that he always had to check the ovens in these $$Mongo$$ custom kitchens because once he pre-heated one that (unbeknownst to him)  the owners had never used, it still had the plastic wrap on the racks and styrofoam packing blocks in it.  He says that at least 75% of the people he catered for never cooked anything in their over-the-top custom kitchens except coffee and in the microwave.  

We had a group here in town that held free cooking classes for disadvantaged folks.  They discovered that the biggest hurdle wasn't a lack of interest or engagement, it was a lack of basic cooking utensils.  They literally didn't have a pot to...well...cook in.  Once they equipped them with a couple of cheap pots and pans, a knife and a spoon, they went to town, by all accounts the program was a huge success.  Can't get out of the food desert without a camel. 
 
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Marcus Billings wrote:Most young people are beyond clueless, there needs to be another word for it!  Brainless doesn't quite fit, but I'll work on it.


But let's just make something perfectly clear - we're the ones raising these young people. It's our job to educate them. You can't blame children for their own ignorance. If you think children are beyond clueless, it means we are failing them.
 
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James Frey
Marty: "is something wrong?"
Cashier: "is this corn?"
Marty: "yeah..."
Cashier: "huh. I've only seen corn in a can."

Something similar happened to me too, when i moved to France and bought a hammer in a mega building shop, like a Wal-Mart of building materials.
The till girl asked me what the thing was, but i didn't know the word in french.
So she took the microphone and explained to the whole shop she didn't know the price of this thing, describing it, it was a thing with a handle and a metal head and had two metal points at the other end of it. If someone could come and figure it out.

Now on topic, my neighbour used to get lessons in growing food when he was young, the kids had their own vegetable patch and if you didn't produce it was seriously frowned upon. My other neighbour lady of ninety something she knew about eating dandy lions for salad.

Many people are busy with their diets, biological food is exploding in europe.
And because of poverty, there is a rise in people doing a veggie garden.
Mostly people who work already or elderly.
Sometimes organic but not a lot do permaculture, there is a lot of talk about it though, it's a buzz word.

I try myself to use permaculture principles, homesteading, use herbs, balms, brewing stuff, taking cuttings, collecting seeds, gathering everything people give me and using this. And it's so fascinating, learning to do this.
Seeing all these other people doing it on YouTube and reading through the comments trying to make sense of it all, cut through the bs.
Learning,learning,learning, doing, doing, building, designing, thinking and talking.
It's very contageous as well.

Many people worldwide are looking for something else, and i feel it's a great time to be alive and that it is an honor to be part of this movement to figure out what direction we should be heading for the best of all.

City consumerism is such a bummer, but who knows they'll turn around. Robots going to take their jobs, who's going to pay the rent.
 
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If folks live in a rural area then they have to learn how to cook, plus most everyone around them does too. Course with all of the fantastic cooking/technique info that can provide any recipe or solve just about every problem with seconds of searching one would think MORE would get into cooking.

Then there is the internet echo chamber which definitely skews our view of the world.

I was rudely shocked out of my comfy echo chamber when my youtube adblock stopped working after many years.  I kept thinking "So this is what the rest of the country is constantly seeing? This is now normal?" LOL. Was very happy when I found a new adblocker and could once again retreat into filtered cozy and safe little online world where most everyone thinks just like I do.
 
David Livingston
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Hugo , my French mother in law claims not to know what a hammer is either but I think that's part of the on going sexism here in France as it's a mans " tool " .
She knows her veg however bit of a blind spot when it comes to parsnip strangely and thinks it odd that I make my own pastry and bread ( bagets being 100% holes in my humble opinion )

David ( in Anjou )
 
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My kids friends were always shocked at how we ate dinner. Home cooked food, on the dinner table, everyone sitting around together eating and talking.

I'm not overly concerned with having a firm grip on what others are doing. Everyone needs to follow their own path. I do me.

When I was going to the food pantry, most people really liked getting the produce. The issue was typically whether or not their ethnic group knew what to do with some of the things, the Mexicans and the Asians weren't interested in the same things.
 
Matt Coston
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Nicole Alderman wrote:How do we widen our view so our perception of reality is more...complete?


A lot of people here are just responding with their own examples of general ignorance. Nobody's actually attempting to answer OP's question.

Permaculture teaches us about the importance of "edge". The edge of the ocean is where most diversity and activity is. Same goes for ponds, fields, and forests. When you embrace the edge, you increase diversity. Diversity is good because it breeds innovation. The concept of edge extends into our lives. When you're in a bubble, you have no edge, you have no diversity; you will not innovate, you will stagnate.

In one of Paul Wheaton's presentations (link below, skip to 50min 30sec), he talks about his "wheaton eco scale". The idea is that as you get further into permaculture, you risk appearing to be a total freak to people not yet initiated. You can hear people in the audience chuckling at this idea. It is my belief that we need to take this much more seriously. If somebody thinks you're crazy, your damaging the image of permaculture and doing more harm than good.

There's two ways I believe you can increase the edge in your life - either you reach out to them, or they reach out to you - you either push, or you pull. The problem with pushing your ideas on others is that you risk being perceived as literally "pushy", which is a negative term. There's no "pully" equivalent, so that is less risky. So how do you become "pully"? My idea is that we need to demonstrate that life in permaculture is not only possible, but in fact is preferable. Permaculture needs to be the better option. So how do we do that? I believe there's no simple answer.

However, I do have a good example of how important being "pully" is. There's a video (linked below) of Paul Wheaton discussing the details of building his out-house toilet. It's fascinating to me how he says that after it was built, people said it was 10x better than a Porta Potty, but they still decided to use the toilet in the house. He then describes how he went through seven iterations to modify the toilet so that people preferred the out-house to the house toilet. I believe this is a good allegory for what permaculture needs to be doing on a larger scale.

To paraphrase the above two paragraphs - When you want to change the minds of others, good enough isn't good enough.

Paul Wheaton's Eco Scale on YouTube

Paul Wheaton makes a toilet people want to use (YouTube video)
 
Anne Miller
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Matt Coston wrote: Nobody's actually attempting to answer OP's question.



Matt, Welcome to permies.

Unlike you, I have not heard Paul's presentations or seen his Youtube's.  My computer has no sound so I have tried to learn as much as I can about permaculture through sepp holzer and Bill Mollison's concepts
especially about zones. I'm still learning.

I found out about permaculture through permies while trying to id a plant, Feb 2016.  Many of the members here are the same as me, learning.

So, please explain to me in general terms how we answer Nicole's question?  (without using permaculture)

Nicole Alderman wrote:  How do we widen our view so our perception of reality is more...

 
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Reading through the posts above about people not knowing what an ear of corn is, or "fancy cooking" being basically you know cooking... I have come across people like this, I seriously thought they were just joking with me. Mind I'm high functioning autistic and take things literally too much, so when I come across something that sounds improbable to me, I assume its that 'fancy thinking' neuro-typicals call 'joking'.

It doesn't help that I am a homebody and I keep only a handful of friends.

Which kinda leads to answering your last question.

Nicole Alderman wrote:

How do we widen our view so our perception of reality is more...complete?



We have to put ourselves out there to learn about other peoples. Yes that means crossing the street to see how those strange beings live across the street.

Frankly I prefer to keep with my own kind, those who share my own interests and who I can talk to about a subject blindly forgetting to pause (High functioning autism is still autism ;)) without them being too annoyed.

If you feel it is a problem that you have learning about things like people who don't know what food is, then put yourself out there. Engage people.

My study of the human species reveals to me that humans tend to find their niche in society and stick with it. We have greater and lesser niches which reflect what we are or who we think we are. We find that many major cities have neighborhoods that are predominately of one cultural heritage. Like attracts like, and we go in search of like, or at least in things we like and are interested in.

Google search, YouTube and lots of other "helpful" web based "helpers" tend to target individuals. Go to YouTube with your history active and you suddenly find that if you watch on video the 'recommended' videos will slowly become saturated with that one subject to the exclusion of other random things.  Why do the good people at google help us this way? Because that is what most people are wanting, to stick to a minor subset of subjects and forget mixing it up and finding accidental data outside of our world perception.
 
Matt Coston
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Anne Miller wrote:So, please explain to me in general terms how we answer Nicole's question?  (without using permaculture)


Anne, I'm really struggling to understand your feedback. Are you saying my opening criticism was unfair? If so - my initial criticism was regarding how I felt many comments here were along the lines of - "Aren't people ignorant about food these days?". My interpretation of the OP was "How do we avoid being in a bubble?".

Am I understanding you correctly?
 
James Freyr
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Matt Coston wrote:
A lot of people here are just responding with their own examples of general ignorance. Nobody's actually attempting to answer OP's question.




What if I can’t come up with a good answer to OP’s question at the moment, and just want to comment instead? If permies were simply Q&A, it might be boring, but these forums are about discussion, which certainly is about helping others who ask questions, but may also include anecdotes. After all, this is in the meaningless drivel forum.
 
Matt Coston
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James Freyr wrote:What if I can’t come up with a good answer to OP’s question at the moment, and just want to comment instead? If permies were simply Q&A, it might be boring, but these forums are about discussion, which certainly is about helping others who ask questions, but may also include anecdotes. After all, this is in the meaningless drivel forum.



Yep, fair enough.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I think it's good to have both the examples of people/experiences that break our "internet echo chamber" (love that term, Lucrecia!), as well as ideas of how to get out of that echo chamber and engage the world around it.

I think Matt is really onto something when he talks about edge.

Anne Miller (and anyone else confused out there! I know I was confused for a long time!), "edge" refers to the area between one area and another--where river meets the ocean, where forest meets meadow, where pond meets land, etc. These are the area where growth happens the most, generally. In a simular way, we grow more when we get just a bit out of our comfort zone. In education, this is called "Zone of Proximal development"--a kid who's on the cusp of being able to add numbers will probably figure it out by herself in a year, but with a bit of help, can figure it out sooner. If you tried to teach that student about addition before she was developmentally ready, it would just go over her head. In the same way, when we meet people who are just a little above or below our "level" we're able to learn a lot, and learn a lot quicker. A student who just learned addition can probably teach addition to struggling student better than someone who figured it out years before, because they still remember how they figured it out.

Let's see if I can find Paul's Wheaton eco scale (it thankfully doesn't require volumn. And, I understand about not seeing all the videos. I have little ones around and limited internet, so I don't get to see many of his videos either!) https://permies.com/t/3069/Wheaton-Eco-Scale

Giant eco scale image, coming right up!



I think we need to try to get out in the world a bit more, whether that be selling food at a Farmer's Market, hanging out at the farm co-op, working in a job where we see other people, joining Mom's of Preschoolers groups, joining local hiking groups, whatever. We kind of can feel out where they are on the eco scale, and introduce topics that are just one or two steps above them. If they're eating at McDonalds, maybe mention healthier places to eat ("have you tried Chipotle?"), or how easy and tasty and cheap it is to fry a steak at home. If they're eating freezer dinners, maybe mention healthier ones. Don't scare them away by talking about all the preservatives and how organic isn't as good as pastured, etc etc. Small steps.
 
Anne Miller
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Matt Coston wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:So, please explain to me in general terms how we answer Nicole's question?  (without using permaculture)



Anne, I'm really struggling to understand your feedback. Are you saying my opening criticism was unfair? If so - my initial criticism was regarding how I felt many comments here were along the lines of - "Aren't people ignorant about food these days?". My interpretation of the OP was "How do we avoid being in a bubble?".

Am I understanding you correctly?



Matt, I read your post several times and I am sorry I just didn't see how you were answering Nicole's question.  Since I am new to permaculture and know no other people that have even heard of it, I just thought I was missing something. Maybe I am living in a bubble, too.  I thought everyone gave great answers and comments in their own opinions.   Permies has a bunch of great people and we are very fortunate to have these discussions.  There are probably things explained in Paul's  Youtube that lead to your answer.  Maybe I didn't understand the question.

Nicole, thanks for explaining the edge. 

Nicole wrote: I think we need to try to get out in the world a bit more,



This is probably why we don't always perceive other people the way they really are.  Thanks for a great discussion.
 
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I see the homesteading movement that really began in earnest in 2008 starting to erode now. I do not mean to be negative on this, and I think it is a wrong direction to go, but I just shipped a bunch of sheep and they brought lousy prices. The reason is simple: people are selling out. Not just culling their flocks of sheep, they are selling their entire flocks of sheep and flooding the market. This is coming from my livestock dealer who ships all livestock, all over the United States.

Some of it is age; a lot of the baby-boomers are just reaching the age where tending to herds/flocks of animals is just too much for them to handle any more, but so too is a natural cycle. We are nearing 10 years since the recession really hit, and just like in the 1970's when the back-to-the-land movement rose and fell, there is an ebb and flow to everything. It happened in the 1920's, it happened in the 1940's, and just like then, the end of the world did not come; the economy did not collapse, and stocks rebounded. Economy wise, we are on the rebound, jobs are available and people are upbeat as their 401K's come back and life looks rosy again.

That life is not for me, I am dedicated to farming, but I fully understand why people who have struggled for 10 years look at what they have done, and say, "why are we still doing this?" "Why are we paying for hay to feed 5 sheep, lugging it to them all winter when we can just work a a few hours of overtime and buy it from the store?" When overtime is available, and looks like it will be for a long time, people are not concerned about their next meal.

So to that end, I see the drive for people to do more, and learn more for themselves as really slowing down. It all relates; knowing how to cook, how to grow gardens, how to slaughter livestock, etc. It's a true shame.

 
John Weiland
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Nicole Alderman wrote:
How do we widen our view so our perception of reality is more...complete?



I like to think that the stratification in most communities holds an analogy in the Humboldt effect, where going up a certain distance in elevation can be equated to going a greater distance toward the poles at sea level.  So I think there is "complete" reality in every community if we go looking for it.  From homeless shelters up through wine tasting events and from shopping at your local farmer's market through observing purchases at at various supermarkets around town, I think it may be possible to gather quite a bit of observational data locally, from rural to urban environs.  So from the analogy, we can take the story on NPR as the starting point and then making our own observations locally as more evidence is gathered towards the synthesis of our views.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:Just look at the fast food joints in your nearest town around lunch time to see how the rest of folks eat.  Even on TV and movies folks come in with bags of fast food or boxes of pizza.

I was watching a reality show where the guy was trying to explain to his girlfriend why she needed to feed her child something other than chicken nuggets and french fries ... her explanation was something like  "I am busy and don't have time" 


This.

So much this.

"I don't have time to cook."

This is the edge, the eco level 0 or 1 where we can meet folks. This!!!

How long does it take to cook eggs or even old-fashioned oatmeal? (You know, you can even pour boiling water on oats in thermos and they'll be ready for you in the morning?)

Just one, tiny, little, baby step example of how cooking whole foods can take less time than a microwave, less time even than walking or driving to a fast food restaurant two blocks away. Washing the dishes can even be included in this time frame.

This is the mind bender that folks are missing. This is the edge we can call out and help folks feel comfortable with.

 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Matt Coston wrote:My interpretation of the OP was "How do we avoid being in a bubble?".

Am I understanding you correctly?



But what people are we talking about? The average American? On most topics I don't think people can understand what the "average" person believes or practices through first hand experience. The most you can do is learn about the people in your day to day life, or get a feel for the people in your specific locale.

If you want info on what is normal outside your little bubble then polling/industry data is often the only way to get it.

I am sure things are different in other places, there are probably many smaller countries where people CAN get a pretty good idea of how the average person lives just by visiting city/rural folks, but not in the US.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Anne Miller wrote:

Matt, I read your post several times and I am sorry I just didn't see how you were answering Nicole's question.  Since I am new to permaculture and know no other people that have even heard of it, I just thought I was missing something.



This is a great reminder of--once we learn something--we assume everyone else understands it, too. Probably 35% of us here on permies have a good idea of what permaculture is--the rest of us are learning. I know I haven't had a PDC. I know I haven't listened to a lot of podcasts or watched a lot of videos. Most of what I learned, I learned from participating on these forums and from some permaculture books (most of which I won through book giveaways here on Permies). I It's important to remember that just because we know something, someone else might not. It's really important to explain those permaculture concepts that we might have known for so long that we've forgotten that other's might not know them!

All of us forum members are on different places in our permaculture (and cooking!) skills and knowledge. And, that's wonderful!

I guess this was a good way to remind myself that just because someone's here on permies, they might not have the same understanding of me. My "perception" is that they do, but my reality is that they might just not!

Thank you so much, Anne, for contributing her on this thread, and here on permies. We're all learning together!
 
James Freyr
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Nicole Alderman wrote:How do we widen our view so our perception of reality is more...complete?



I think this might be one of those questions that may not have a finite answer. I do like the clarity you put into the question asking how to widen our view so our perception of reality is more complete. I think the reality is (pun not intended) that reality is abstract. We each live our own unique lives, in different parts of the globe, with different weather, different regional foods, different cultures, etc. I don’t think there is one reality. I think this is one of those things that could really go down a rabbit hole of philosophy, which sometimes isn’t a bad thing.

One idea I can offer on how to widen ones view for a more complete perception is through experiences, or perhaps travel. One doesn’t need to go far to broaden ones perception of reality. I’ll offer myself for example. I’ve lived in and around Nashville for 40 years. There are parks, attractions, museums, and other neat places in the city I’ve never been to. I could easily start there. Nashville has a large and diverse ethnic population, I could (and should) go check out little mom & pop ethnic restaurants and taste some treasures from other parts of the world. I could drive around the state checking out new places, meeting new people. If I had the budget (and desire) I could travel the world, but I choose not to travel, I like to stay put and grow my garden, hike in the woods, read books, and learn new techniques of permaculture to improve my garden and little homestead, living in my reality.
 
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On the one hand, it saddens me that so few people have a passion for cooking, or a knowledge of cooking these day.  But on the other hand, it truly benefits me.  Everyone wants to eat good food.  The grocery store or farmers market is where I can start a conversation about food with a gorgeous woman, half my age - one I would never be able to approach otherwise.  I am 40.  Just this spring, I engaged a lovely young woman about cooking marinara sauce from scratch as opposed to buying canned.  She called over her roommate -- they were both sophomores in college.  They invited me over to cook for them.  It was a lovely weekend!
 
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It happens with hobby ranchers also

"Which should i raise,  sheep or goats?"

Which ones taste better to you?

"Huh? Im not gonna EAT them!"



 
David Livingston
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First of all I think we should not be too hard upon ourselves , no one knows everything there is to know ,I believe everyone should be open to new knowledge , evaluation and criticism . Learning should be a life long voyage
Secondly how to spread our ideas , I am reminded of my readings of Islam where it was stated ' what is the best way to spread Islam and the reply was by being a good Muslim ' each of us spreads our ideas in the same way by being an example.
Thirdly there has been talk about taking responsibility and parents teaching children whilst this is true let's not in my opinion absolve politicians of responsibility too We all ( ok nearly all of us ) have a vote we should use it wisely and often   let's break the cycle of ignorance

David
 
Travis Johnson
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In some ways I think my ex-wife is an example of all that is wrong in society. No, not just because she is an ex and we ALL love to pick on ex's. She is a 5th grade school teacher, teaches a whole semester about proper eating to he kids, YET cannot cook. Everything she eats is either from a restaurant 6-8 times a week, or out of frozen boxed skillet meals.It came from being a latch-key kid (when was the last time you heard that expression) and her mother being fearful that she would get burned on the stove, yet her mom always worked 2nd shift meaning they had to have microwave-only meals.

I know every husband says their ex-wife was pretty when they married her, but in this case it really is true. In 14 years she has really grown in weight sadly. It stems from bad health and is bringing it upon my daughter. My daughter even admits that they go out to eat way too much.

We are not like that, bucking the trend by eating right, the proper sized proportions, and all of us at the table with the TV and devices shut off...imagine that!

 
Travis Johnson
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Myself I feel bad for those that cannot really cook well for themselves because they are really losing out. Now granted this is a hobby of mine, but I love proper cooking. My "thing" is to take normally everyday meals and make them special. My latest creation is a great example.

It was nothing more than a 3 egg omelette cooked with farm fresh eggs, and real butter. After frying it up on both sides, one side is slathered up with liberal amounts of Thousand Island Dressing , and then I set it off to the side.

For the last few hours before cooking the omelette, a nice corn beef brisket was slow cooking in a crock pot getting it nice and tender. No one has lived until they have had Morse's Sauerkraut which they would like even if they hate Sauerkraut, so that too is set off to the side. To that end, high end aged swiss cheese is shredded and set into a bowl. Now the corn beef is cut up and placed into a hot skillet, the sauerkraut mixed in and warmed well. Only then is the grated swiss cheese added so all three ingredients are a gooey mess.

Then that is placed in the omelette and wrapped over and placed on another skillet to warm everything well. It does not take long, but I like everything warm. At the same time, homemade sourdough or rye bread that has been previously made, is pan fried with real butter, then set beside the omelette to complement the meal.

It may be nothing more than a Ruben Omelet, but when done just right, with the right homemade ingredients, dare I say...it is almost as good as amicable domestic relations with the wife!! Yeah, THAT GOOD!

To me, people like my ex-wife who eat meals that taste like the frozen cardboard box they are contained in, are not only cheating themselves out of good health, but out of adventurous cooking, and taste!

...
Next year my wife and I are thinking about diverting 40 acres to small grain production and I like the idea of the homemade bread being made from our own farm grown rye, milled here into flour, and made into homemade bread.





 
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while walking through the woods you'll notice trails. You'll likely walk them as well as the animals before you. It is just nature to take the path of least resistance IE: drivethrough, take out etc. GUILTY! but the difference is now its a treat we enjoy a few times a month. We took ourselves out because its too easy. things that don't struggle will fail. I dont have an answer for a teen that wont look up from their phone but that worked for us. 20 acres, 6 miles up a goat trail and an hour from anything.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Travis Johnson wrote:
To me, people like my ex-wife who eat meals that taste like the frozen cardboard box they are contained in, are not only cheating themselves out of good health, but out of adventurous cooking, and taste!



This reminds me so much from when I worked in a preschool and parents would bring in store-bought cupcakes for their child's birthday. We would eat them because, "They're cupcakes, so they must be yummy." But, they would have a horrible aftertaste, or just not taste that good. The sugar in them, though, made our brains yearn for more. So, we'd eat another to coat the aftertaste from the last cupcake we ate, and in hopes that this one would taste good. "Because it's a cupcake--it should taste good!"

I think a lot of our food is like that. The additives in it make it taste funky, but the sugar and MSG, and the fact that we're not getting the vitamins we need, make our brains clamor for more. We eat more and more but are never fulfilled.

It's really depressing. And so many don't know that it doesn't have to be that way, and that good food isn't that hard to make.

Another problem with getting people to cook is mistakes. One recipe that turns out wrong, with all that wasted time and money, is really depressing!
 
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