To cook or not

I have noticed a sharp rise in the pro cooking v.s against cooking articles.

Aren't you tired of reading them? I know I am.

It is frankly sad that people spend so much time agonizing over food, given that there are SO MANY MILLION choices in either direction. I am not even talking about sources (organic, farm raised, pasture raised etc.). There are raw foods, prepped foods, partially prepared foods, ready to defrost food and sometimes even 'easy to digest' foods. There is food in a jar, in a chug-able bottle, in a tablet. The next thing I am waiting for is food spray - when you can spray on chicken noodle soup at lunch time and be fed. (No, not really, ugh).

The irony is that despite these choices, people are going hungry, there is an epidemic of food wastage, and a rise in fancy pet foods. Where are the priorities?

The vast number of food and eating choices also have another unfortunate side effect. They have given rise to the 'pro cooking' camp, the 'no-cooking' camp and all the rest inbetween. I am in neither camp - if you prefer a certain way to do it, we live in a privileged enough world, that we CAN make a choice, and go with it. I am surely not forcing anyone to do something a certain way.

As a foodie, in the food business and a cookbook author - I see all the points of view and know there is only about half an ounce of validity to all the agony. Personally, I love food, love to cook, eat and feed people I love. I also have days when I dont want to cook. It is a cycle. Too much of anything can be bad.. for anyone.

With all the forms of communications and voices and mediums of expressions - we have also been emboldened, sometimes privilaged to speak up one way or another, or even act one way or another. Aren't we also promoting a freedom of choice in other facets of our lives? As a society, we are promoting a choice of personal identity, education, matrimony, parenthood.. then why not something so basic as nourishment?

I can choose not to read the article, but why is it grabbing so much media space?

No one adds cookbooks to their wedding registry, baby registry or into their wills. We dont find cookbooks in safety deposit boxes, buried with treasures or hidden into the walls of a basement. Long gone are days when one generation adds a cookbook into the next ones' wedding basket. Cookbooks are not included in our childrens' education, college degrees or as credits required to get a job, unless you are applying for a job as a chef or cook.

Then why is it a cookbook, method, choice of nourishment or eating venue, such a monstrous subject of debate? Really, who makes us to choose a particular style of cookbook or style of cooking? So, why get so worked up about it?

I wonder if this mud-pie-slinging phenomenon is triggered by the rise and infiltration of media hype about food - into our everyday life and complications that arise from change in a food-based conversation from an act of nourishment to art or finding an elusive taste, unusual combination etc. Are these changing our confidence in what we can achieve ourselves? Do we need to be told how to boil water, or need to be bothered to be curious why? Do we need to know when to eat? Or are we going to wait for someone to tell us? Or are we waiting for someone to write an article about what is the optimal time to consume dinner?

What happened to simple things? What happened to things that could be fixed without going through 3 grocery stores to fix? What happened to enjoying whatever we choose to do - eat out or eat in.. without being told to do it way or another?

It seems that for some, the choices we offer ourselves complicate our lives. Or is it that the choices we are supposed to make - complicate our lives more?

If we are relying on a predetermined framework, or agonizing over suggestions - that guide our paths, aren't we smart enough to break the mold and pave our own?

What do you think? I would love to hear from you.

No seriously, I would.


Nandita Godbole

Once a botanist & landscape architect.

Now a personal chef & author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger & poet. 


Loves freshly brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 


Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 


Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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