Eating and ‘preparing’ foods that require no art whatsoever in making
It is definitely true that our society has become accustomed to eating and ‘preparing’ foods that require no art whatsoever in making. Canned goods and microwave products are rampant in today’s everyday menu. The reason for this, I believe, lies in the characteristic of this generation of being unwilling to learn anything difficult or time-consuming. Art unquestionably comes from things that take time and require effort: sculptures that take weeks to finish, movies that take months to film and hundreds of people to accomplish, and poems that ask for concentration, time, and effort.
People nowadays want to learn things quickly, finish objectives within eight hours, and forget about them in less time. They want their food delivered in less than half an hour. They want massages in under half an hour. In fact most of the services today can be taken out or delivered. Taking time and effort to learn, master, and perfect things are no longer of interest to most of us. To add on to this already non-conducive situation of quick surface learning, poverty fans the flame of the lost tradition of home cooking.
Although a long and artful process of preparing food is ideal and very high-culture, most people simply do not have the luxury of cooking such fancy and multi-ingredient meals. Most of the population, classified as low income families, has to make do with meals that are simply fried and not really ‘cooked’ as much as they are heated. These over-processed foods are quick to prepare and simple, such that they lower the costs of a family. The effect of this is very bad for our culture.
The rich heritage of unique methods and ingredients of cooking are lost due to lack of motivation and lack of financial capability. I agree with this. There can be no doubt as to the reality of the slow dying of the tradition of cooking within a family. Most families share these throughout generations via the practice of cooking meals together and transferring their knowledge. However, due to the younger generations’ lack of interest in anything artful and effortful such as cooking, this transference is being impeded and ultimately ended.
Less and less people inherit their family’s unique recipes and family dishes. Also it is clear that poverty does play a role in limiting a family’s participation in cooking tradition. Baking for example is a very expensive activity and only those who have the luxury of eating pricey desserts engage in it. However, I believe that time also plays a role in the death of the cooking tradition. Families seem to hold less and less time together (another cultural issue altogether) and one of the first things that suffer from this is the time spent preparing, cooking, and eating dinner together.