Why a Women’s Food Movement?


What’s gender got to do with it? Why not a Food Movement, period?

I’ve often been in the same situation as Marguerite, especially since I’m a university student. ‘Wow, you made your lunch from scratch?’ (depends on how you see that one, but I’ve decided that leftovers from dinner count) ‘You bake? You can make your own cookies and cakes?

So I do agree with a lot of the things that Marguerite said:

Of course there were compromises to be made, such as paying more for our food, and  jeopardizing our health and that of our family. Products loaded with too much salt, too much sugar, too much fat, and too many empty calories. Paragraph long labels with ingredients more fit for a science lab than our stomach. Foods purified from their natural vitamins and nutrition. Further compounding the problem, manufacturers conspired to confuse us with misleading claims that we were only too happy to believe. I know firsthand. I spent a good part of my early advertising career trying to convince moms of the wholesomeness of granola bars . . . what a spin that was!

The truth has been catching up with us, however, in the form of record highs in obesity and associated illnesses such as  diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. The personal and national costs are astronomical, and demand an overhaul of our entire food system, such as proposed by pioneers of the natural food movement. First was California food’s priestess, Alice Waters, then Omnivore  Dilemma’s Michael Pollan, and now Slow Food’s Carlo Petrini. Each time, the green, intellectual elite has responded with ardor. Some of that enthusiasm has trickled down to the mainstream, as evidenced by the spread of organics in supermarkets. Deep down, though, not much has changed.

Absolutely true.

But this:

Inspired from the success of Obama’s movement, I would like to suggest a different strategy, one that does not come from a few tenors, but that  recognizes women as the beholders of the nurturing instinct, and the ones still in charge of most of the food decisions. Let’s call it The Women’s Food Movement, an effort at organizing the community of women all over, to help them regain confidence in their innate ability to nourish, using simple recipes and affordable, high quality, natural ingredients. Shifting the power away from manufacturers and retailers, back into the hands of women. No fancy words needed. Instead, a narrative anchored in their every day food activities and concerns, e.g. shopping for groceries,  deciding on what to make for dinner, exchanging recipes, looking for deals and clipping coupons, worrying about feeding their family healthy food, having limited time for cooking, making ends meet . . .

Most importantly, The Women’s Food Movement is about trusting women to hold the answers, collectively, and simply providing them with an organizing community and some tools to turn that knowledge into constructive action. This approach requires a deeper understanding of women’s food psychology, than currently displayed in existing solutions. For a beginning of food conversations with women, you may follow the Twitter stream here.

What the fuck? Seriously, ‘about trusting women to hold the answers‘?

I’m a woman, and I can’t see why women have to do it.


5 Responses to “Why a Women’s Food Movement?”

  1. I sometimes cook. I make my curry from scratch, and BF likes my curry (yay me!).

    But I’ll say that I’ve lost weight since I stopped going out so much. I used to eat out 15 times a week. (breakfast, lunch and dinner x 5 days on biz trips)

    And no, it’s not just women’s job. It’s everyone’s job to know more about nutrition and eat better and exercise and take care of themselves.

  2. 2 iamgirlwonder


    My first comment!

  3. It’s everyone’s job. We share the cooking around here, and rely on the bread machine and the crockpot often. Skipping fast foods and prepared foods takes planning, but it’s really not that hard. Trust me, if I can manage, anybody can.

  4. 4 iamgirlwonder

    Exactly my point, Charli!

    Oh, I want a bread machine! (Never mind that I live alone — well, flatmate — and we couldn’t eat bread fast enough together to warrant one.)

  5. 5 greenadine

    cooking made easy, the machine will do it! the secret is in the hand which kneads, the mind that feeds and the heart that needs.

    back to the kitchen with your friends, your mate, your radio, your CD player, whatever turns those senses up a notch. and lay on the colors, the aroma, the flavors of rare fresh herbs and basic ingredients.

    women and whatever gender all welcome at the counter, the store and the table. bon appetit you’all.

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