Mothers of today have perhaps the greatest opportunity in history to change the course of the future. I believe we are at a crossroads right now, at this point in time, and it will be the choices made in the homes and suburbs by everyday mums that will decide if the future is one of happiness or heartache.
There’s been a seismic shift in the way mothers deal with food over the past four generations. We’ve gone from sustainable, self-reliant practices, of cooking from scratch and having a deep understanding and respect for food and it’s life-giving properties – to a mega-convenience, technologically-driven concept where food is a chore that we deal with quickly from a packet or drive-thru, without thought of whether what we eat is actually feeding us or harming us.
In traditional cultures, the whole day revolves around food – the growing and cultivating of it, the harvesting, storing and then preparation and eating of it. They even celebrate it.
In western society, food is often a headache or problem that mums would rather not have to bother with.
Insidiously over the past three generations, mums were shown a ‘better’ way of doing things – the old-fashioned ways were derided as slow, outdated and unnecessary. Mums were shown fancy new-ways to cook food and fancy new products that could replace food and the need to spend any time preparing it.
We’ve been sold flawed health advice, and encouraged to place all of our trust in corporations and authorities, rather than sticking with our innate instincts. We’ve been encouraged to abandon tradition and ancient wisdom because scientists know best. We’ve been conned into giving away our power to make critical choices for ourselves and told instead to follow the pack (or packaging, as the case may be).
Mothers of today however – the most educated women in history – can change all of that. They have the opportunity of taking back control of the health and happiness of not just their own families, but also that of entire future generations.
We can take the best of modern technology and information – the blenders and slow cookers and millions of internet sites filled with recipes to try – and mix them with the best of tradition – the cooking and preparing of real food, done with respect and heart.
It needn’t be fancy or include any special ingredient or be expensive. It needn’t be complicated. I have such vivid memories of my mother, grandmothers and great grandmother (and great grandfather) growing, harvesting and cooking food. I come from a long line of descendants who fed themselves. They all had veggie gardens and my great grandparents even had a wood-fired stove that Pop fired up every morning.
My children now join me and my husband to help make dinner. The other night the boys made organic meatballs, with Mr 7 mixing them, rolling them and cooking them in the pan. Miss 9 made up two salads of her own design – a spinach one with green apple, mint and walnuts, as well as a cucumber and tomato mix with basil and olive oil. I sat on my bum and drank wine. Happy days!
Being able to feed yourself in order to sustain your life – that is, to live in a healthy manner, not just survive – is the absolute basic fundamental of our existence. We’ve been led astray from that fact, but now mums are waking up to the idea of blending tradition with the best parts 21st century living has to offer. Cooking your own food and sharing a meal with loved ones is an entirely loving thing to do. It’s nurturing at its core.
Doing that for yourself and your family, and teaching your children how to feed themselves well is, I think, the biggest lesson you can ever teach them that will have the most impact over their future.
I’d love to hear what cooking is to you and your family – do you have recipes handed down from grandparents? Are you crap at cooking but give it a go anyway? And have you trained up the kids so you can sit and drink wine like me?
Leave a comment below, please 🙂
And if you agree that mums can change the world one meal at a time, please share this post and spread the message.