Making Peace with Food
(or at least with the kitchen)
By Georgia Meyer, Phase I Fellow
I am a self-proclaimed terrible cook.
This may sound harsh, as the meals I have made these past six months have been neither miraculous nor disastrous (not counting bread, which has been disastrous). Perhaps I should say I am an unintuitive cook, since most of my time in the kitchen is spent checking and double-checking recipes and not, you know, cooking.
As with many communal living arrangements, AMI Fellows rotate our kitchen duties—two of us prepare lunch and dinner once or twice a week. So although my cooking assignments are infrequent, I am still regularly in the kitchen and I still dislike it. Early on in the Fellowship, our cooking schedule actually filled me with dread—I would have been perfectly content spending my days on the farm and never once turning on the oven.
Although I have been incredibly privileged to grow up with access to local and nutritious produce—and around people who have encouraged a healthy relationship with food—I haven’t always been great about feeding myself. And while certain unhealthy behaviors have diminished over the years, I wouldn’t say I have fully healed from unnecessary restrictions and diet management. I think that’s why I am so attracted to farming—as a way to heal. But even though I enjoy working with food in the garden, I haven’t yet found joy in cooking….
…for myself, that is. The surprising thing is that I am actually beginning to find satisfaction in feeding others. It hasn’t been all kitchen doom and gloom! The fact is, I am surrounded by some rather gifted cooks (which hasn’t hurt my unnaturally steep learning curve). Feeding others as a Fellow throughout Phase I has even been a rewarding experience. I have found joy to sharing food in a communal setting, and it has encouraged me to nourish my body and my mind more thoroughly.