Why is cooking fashionable?

Jennifer Rubell: I think that the rise of cooking, maybe you can attribute it a little bit to television cooking.  But I would actually point more toward the explosion of consumerism and cooking as a real antidote to that.  You know you are not involved in consumerist culture when you’re cooking.  You’re producing something.  So it . . . it . . .  Those kind of earthy pursuits – whether it’s gardening, cooking, do-it-yourself projects – I think that that will only be . . .  The more things become virtual and unphysical, the more people need an outlet in the physical world.  I think that’s a . . .  It’s almost like a law of matter, you know

Well I think that young people . . . most young people’s jobs involve staring at a computer screen all day.  I mean that’s what most jobs boil down to today.  And you need something sensual to counterbalance that.  You can’t just then go re-enter some sort of like consumer world and not have something that roots you to the earth, to other people, to a home, to community.  You need it.  It’s just mandatory.I think there’s a real intimacy when you entertain at home.  You know once you have someone to your home, it’s almost like they’re a friend for life.  You know you can run into them 15 years later, and you still have a bond to them.  They were at your house for dinner.  I’ve gone out to dinner with people where I don’t remember their names or their faces.  It’s like it never happened.  And I don’t know what happens when people enter your home.  I don’t know what that process is, but it’s a glue.  And there’s almost no other way that you can get that.

Recorded on 12/13/07

Cooking is the antidote of consumerism.

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