Doukhobor Community Kitchen Proposal
As submitted by Liana Zwick, YMC Rep USCC Kootenay South
The inspiration for beginning this initiative locally came from a documentary called “Cooked” by Michael Pollan. In his book and his TV series documentary (streaming on Netflix) Michael Pollan talks about his concern that we are too often turning to fast food outlets and prepared food aisles in grocery stores. He stresses the importance of getting back to home cooked meals. On his website he notes:
“As long as we let corporations do most of our cooking for us, our agriculture will continue to be dominated by giant monocultures of grain and animal factories. Big companies only know how to buy from big farms. That means the movement to build a more diversified and local agriculture can develop only so far unless people are willing to buy from those farms— and they will only buy from those farms if they’re cooking. In many ways, reforming American agriculture depends on rebuilding a culture of routine home cooking. I’ve come to think that cooking is a political act, with large consequences not only for ourselves but for the environment and agriculture as well. The decline of everyday home cooking doesn’t only damage the health of our bodies and our land but also our families, our communities, and our sense of how our eating connects us to the world. Our growing distance from any direct, physical engagement with the processes by which the raw stuff of nature gets transformed into a cooked meal is changing our understanding of what food is. Indeed, the idea that food has any connection to nature or human work or imagination is hard to accept when it arrives in a neat package, fully formed. Food becomes just another commodity, an abstraction. And as soon as that happens we become easy prey for corporations selling synthetic versions of the real thing—what I call edible food-like substances. We end up trying to nourish ourselves on images.
I came to think that, by letting corporations cook for us, we have been robbed of one of the greatest satisfactions in life. Let’s take it back! “
A Community Kitchen model supports many of our Doukhobor Life concepts. One is the deeply engrained cultural value of community. Our forbears had often worked and lived in community. Through community we can learn to realize significant life goals through shared talent and efforts that are much more difficultly attained on an individual basis. Further, new ideas and new initiatives can help rejuvenate our organization’s goals.