What does "home cooking" mean to you? Does it bring up positive associations or is it something you'd just as soon forget about? Whichever it is, our experience of food and eating is always set within specific cultural parameters that define "normal" during the most influential years of our lives. That includes not only the region of the world we live in but also the routines of our particular family, for good or bad. There's not space here to go into the broader aspects of this fascinating subject (I suggest Michael Pollan's book, Omnivore's Dilemma, if you're interested), but I'd like to touch on a few points that I've been thinking about.
As Pollan's title suggests, we've moved into a time in which we don't have to eat home cooking. We're not limited day after day to simple, home-grown fare cooked in the traditional way. "Normal" now can look like a cornucopia of flavors and textures that are divorced from "old-fashioned" ideas of a healthy meal. Our culture has made it acceptable and easy to be ignorant of the relationship between what you eat and how you feel. Being omnivores, we can survive on a wide variety of diets. But come to find out, we don't thrive on all of them.
We're seeing that when we routinely disregard traditional understanding of what foods our bodies flourish on, all kinds of illnesses become ordinary and normal. This disconnect between food and health is starting to be challenged from many quarters. The high level of chronic illness is serving as a wake-up call for change as more people realize that normal doesn't mean safe or wholesome. Our fast food culture is being infiltrated by a "slow food" renaissance that is restoring the basic equation between what and how we eat and our quality of life.
The Go Primal vision is part of that renaissance and sees home cooking as a keystone habit of health. This is not per se about a return to traditional values; it's about taking responsibility for knowing what helps you and your family thrive. It's about creating a center in your home that nourishes health, connection, and self-sufficiency. As I see it, making friends with your kitchen by actually using it starts a virtuous circle of care that ripples out into the wider culture. Cooking is a great connector; let it connect you with your home, your community, and our amazing planet Earth.
What are your associations with home cooking?
Have you discovered a new go-to recipe recently?
What are you doing to make your kitchen more inviting and efficient?
Do you and your friends entertain at home?
Let's keep the conversation going.
Verona Rylander is a psychotherapist with a degree from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. She grew up on grass fed beef and organic vegetables in Paris, TX and has a long history of curiosity about health, food, nutrition, cooking, and beyond. She's here to offer a broader perspective on Primal Living, changing habits, willpower, body image, and importance of your thoughts.