They may take our lives, but they'll never take our aprons! May this irreverent take on freedom's old maxim reverberate through the land, for the State has waged war on the home's most sacred relic: The Cook.
In the age of TV dinners, the masses are so disenfranchised by food Nazi rhetoric and the demands of modern life, they hardly notice their hours in the kitchen being whittled away from without. Of course, displacing both parents from the household has done much to cement the anti-cook agenda. I am not a parent (thankfully), but the nanny state's meddling interference in the guise of dietary "guidelines" has not gone unnoticed in my household.
For starters, the food Nazis don't seem to approve of the vital role wine plays in my personal cooking routine: "Women should not consume more than one glass of wine per day," is the latest edict from on high. Funny, not a year ago these same cranks espoused the virtues of downing two glasses within a 24-hour period, and before that had the audacity to proclaim we shouldn't drink at all. Hmm, should I believe the treacherous twits, or the French who drink wine like we drink Pepsi and are the healthier for it? The food police have a funny habit of demonizing the very products they once promoted, and have no qualms about re-programming the public to accept round after round of propaganda. Naturally, these convoluted attacks on good food only serve to alienate folks from the joy of cooking.
As a sovereign cook, I resist the state's attempts to govern what I do in my kitchen to sustain my own body. I happen to enjoy sipping from a glass of wine while I cook. Sitting down to a home-cooked meal without the accompanying nectar would be most unthinkable. And I'm not about to ban wine from my cooking arsenal any time soon, either. My lentil soup just wouldn't taste the same without it. I'd say this routine puts my wine consumption well over the state's ridiculous "guidelines." But what business does the state have snooping around my kitchen, anyway? Aren't they supposed to be out there securing my freedoms instead of violating them?
Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for taking necessary precautions to prevent diet-related disease and food borne illness. I've been vegetarian since the age of nine, work out every morning, and lean toward micro-phobic excess in all things, especially cooking — but these are my personal choices. The mere thought of the State instructing the individual how to sustain his own person should horrify all freethinking folk.
As we've all witnessed in the strategic war against tobacco and it's demonized aficionados, cleverly orchestrated "advice" from the State ultimately leads to lifestyle fascism. I watched in horror as the masses dutifully jumped on board the anti-smoking bandwagon, and I fear the same fate lies ahead for food and drink. Sure, they haven't hauled me off to jail yet for refusing to substitute diet Pepsi for the nectar of the gods, but it's only a matter of time. And the scary part is, the useful idiots among us would not bat an eye. In fact, they'd be all too happy to partake in the public lynching!
Have we become so estranged from cooking real food in our own kitchens we're willing to follow these perpetrators down the path to utter food-fascism? Never mind the effect such culinary servitude has on our minds and overall well-being.
But maybe the talking heads really do know what's best for us. After all, cooking can be a daunting prospect these days, what with both parents working out of the home and all that complicated dietary news. Why bother preparing little Suzy's lunch when our State-sponsored schools can do it so much better? And look, the food police have deemed that low-fat meal from Wal-Mart's freezer aisle to be quite healthy! Apparently we shouldn't concern ourselves with that mile-long list of Franken-food ingredients that gets l-o-n-g-e-r by the year.
As the Taco Time bimbo says, "Why cook for your family, blah…blah…blah?" What she really means is, "Your corporate masters know what's best for you. Now slowly put down the spatula and no one will get hurt! Feast on our nasty, hormone-injected factory-farmed beef with a side of MSG-laden fries made from genetically altered, irradiated potatoes. And while you're at it, put down that nourishing glass of wine and wash our filth down with some dementia-inducing, aspartame-laced diet Pepsi. You will embrace apathy at the expense of common sense, as you're much more useful to us when you're fat and stupid. Now that you've paid for the privilege of being poisoned, plop your growing girth down in front of that television and watch some more commercial programming. You're feeling brain-dead, very, very brain-dead…."
Is it just me, or does anyone else find it curious how MSG and aspartame, both proven carcinogens, are not amongst the state's hit list? Conveniently enough, they've also overlooked the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO's), bovine growth hormone, and irradiation in common foods. Oh, and let's not forget the fluoridation of our municipal water supplies that also ends up in our food. Many of these toxic practices are banned in Europe, but apparently the food Nazis think they can slip 'em by our dumbed-down populace. And sadly, they'd be right. For the most part, that is.
Some of us actually question these glaring inconsistencies, and last I checked, the individual — not the state — is sovereign master over his own person.
I don't trust the government. I would no sooner take the State's nutritional advice then I would follow its disastrous fiscal example. But how can we expect to fend off the advancing onslaught of propaganda from a platform of feeble minds and malnourished bodies?
I see the process of preparing nourishing home-cooked meals as a practical act of defiance I can easily indulge in every day. I, not the state, decide which ingredients work best with my constitution and keep me at my personal best. Sometimes that includes sautéing eggs in the much-maligned coconut oil, savoring raw cheese, or topping off the day with a shot (or two) of Johnny Walker Red.
Cooking from a sovereign state of mind is quite simply your best defense against the food Nazis, so put on that apron, and repeat after me:
They'll have to pry my spatula from my cold, dead fingers.
December 1, 2007