Not Accomplishing Much

— am I just sustaining myself or am I living a dream come true?

Since moving out of Berlin, my husband and I started eating a lot more at home.

At first, I didn’t think it was possible. Living in the city, we ate out a dozen times a week. We’ve successfully transitioned to 2-3 meals out per week.

I feel like I never accomplish much in a day. I’m doing a lot of food prep. I’ve started making sourdough biscuits, english muffins and tortillas. In the beginning, we ate a lot of microwaveable mac and cheese. Now, I make our own mac and cheese and freeze it into microwaveable meal portions. It’s all made from whole milk, organic cheese and organic pasta. I even slip in onions and other veggies.

While I’m doing a lot, it doesn’t feel like I accomplish anything at all. The act of feeding oneself is treated as a task that supports more important things, like work, a successful career.

I’ve been brainwashed to consider cooking and meal prep as something not important. Feeding yourself isn’t a valid goal to have in life–right?

Well, I do want to feed myself well. Part of the reason why I started making bread was because I saw all sorts of ingredients in store bought bread. How could bread have so many ingredients outside of flour, water and salt? Have you ever purchased English muffins? They don’t taste like English muffins made from flour, water and salt. There’s some other funky taste.

Every single meal goes into my body. The strange chemicals that go into processed foods accumulate. Is feeding myself so ‘unimportant’ of an activity to ignore?

There’s no measurable result. I can’t see the benefits of having home food. I can only understand it from the business of food. The incentive to create food fast, cheap and tasty are important for restaurants and food products–you can’t get someone back if the food doesn’t taste good.

I can see the impact from people who get sick from food. My sister’s body reacts violently when exposed to American wheat, commonly used at cheap fast food chains and pizzerias.

Taste is measurable and cheapness is measurable. I also understand how much microwaving and plastics go into food prep in restaurants. There’s no way they can cook up a meal if they hadn’t chopped the veggies much much earlier. Tomatoes in a fast food Mexican chain are chopped way in advance and frozen.

I want to have food that is freshly chopped. I don’t want to ingest mysterious ingredients. As humble as this goal seems, it’s quite difficult to achieve. I have to adjust my expectations–eating well is a lofty goal.

When I was working at a coworking space in Berlin, each day at 11:30 am, the Italians would come around and ask who wanted in on a homemade lunch. They’d collect two Euros and grab groceries, come back and prepare food. The veggies were freshly chopped. This happened every day.

Some people do take it seriously. Because I’m not around enough of them, I have a hard time believing I’m doing much by preparing homemade food everyday. It’s difficult, but I still don’t have to fall into the trap of thinking I’m not accomplishing much with my life.

This is what I want. Homemade food everyday is not something many can have.

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