Unless I’m reviewing a restaurant for my blog, I prepare every meal at home. I eat about five meals per day. That’s about 1,825 meals per year. I make about 99% of those meals from scratch in my kitchen using whole foods. Why do I cook my food?
Cooking is fun. I love to cut vegetables, taste them as I slice them, and think about how to creatively add them into dishes. I imagine how the garlic, cilantro, and ginger will taste in my chili. I think about the avocado, sweet potato, tahini, lemon, beets, apple, and goji berries in my salad. Like a kid, I watch my blueberry, flax, chia seed, kale, and spinach smoothie go around and around in the blender. It’s stimulating, relaxing, and exciting.
Cooking keeps me grounded. I look at food and think of how peacefully it was grown in the ground or on a tree. I feel grateful I’ve discovered the healthiest and least harmful way to eat, and that I have access to unlimited fresh food. It feels good to see food in its original state, unaltered by machines, and think about how it will benefit my body. I frequently eat plain red quinoa and appreciate it’s natural taste. I find it empowering and gratifying to defeat the horrible eating habits our culture teaches us–that animals are food and that no food is satisfactory until it’s drenched in oil, butter, syrup, cheese, and sugar and fried until it’s unrecognizable.
Cooking my meals is healthier. I haven’t had the flu or cold for more than ten years. My blood test results are perfect. I have no health conditions, and I don’t take any medication. Food is my medicine. I only eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans. I love every meal. I have to force myself to diversify my dishes because they’re so delicious that I could eat the same meals over and over again. I never crave meat, eggs, milk, or cheese. I never think about those options because they’re not food. An animal’s body belongs to an animal the same way our bodies belong to us.
Cooking my meals is cheaper. Eating out is expensive. Calculate how much it costs to make a dish at home and then compare it to a meal you order at a restaurant. Factor in transportation costs. I’ve pegged it at about triple the price. Extrapolate that comparison over the course of a year, and it adds up to thousands of dollars. It’s even more expensive when you factor in the cost of the healthcare required from eating animals and processed food. It’s funny to listen to people express concerns about the purity of cell-based meat when most of them buy processed food with dozens of unidentifiable ingredients.
Cooking my meals is better for the planet. Most of the food I buy isn’t wrapped in a box or plastic, and much of it is locally grown, reducing transportation emissions. Farmers also don’t need to feed grain to my avocados to make them grow. They don’t need to cut down forests to plant that food and avocadoes don’t emit methane or nitrous oxide that leads to global warming because my avocados don’t pass gas or burp. Finally, plant-based food farmers don’t have to dump toxic manure in our waterways, killing marine life and harming people’s health.
Interested in learning how to cook your own healthy and compassionate meals? Visit Kirschner’s Korner on Facebook and click “Videos” to view a few of my favorite recipes.