More than Vegetables

An urban farmer garnered the Genius Fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation for starting a network of urban gardening in Milwaukee, WI. He is doing good work. I’m happy for him to have earned such a prestigious prize.

But…

Is it enough to give a man a vegetable without teaching him how to cook it?

Think about it. If at least two generations have known little but plastic wrapped and canned food, how can you expect them to tote home a CSA box to relish every week? And if they attempted to cook some of the food, they might be horrified at overly done eggplant and never touch the stuff again.

There is much more to creating a healthy culture than just growing good veggies. You have to teach cooking, and eating, and working with others, and…and…and

You have to start from scratch with folks who are motivated to learn. Otherwise, all your hard work is wasted on the culturally vapid.

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2 Responses to “More than Vegetables”


  1. 1 mamajuliana September 25, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I agree-sad to say when my children (used to) bite into a cooked slightly crunchy veggie, they would complain. They were too used to the frozen-plastic bagged mush that I used to buy…

    …we’re learning, though.

    Great post!

  2. 2 Emily Kate September 26, 2008 at 6:42 am

    I had almost the opposite experience! After weeks of meals involving cooked, fresh vegetables, I served beans out of a can and my boyfriend complained that they tasted more like the can than beans. Ironically, he is the one who bought the canned beans in the first place.


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