Over the last few days we have been having a great discussion here about different foods, different ways to cook food and even about food that can be found by foraging. As much as I have enjoyed this conversation (and as hungry as it has made me) I worry that when I tell stories about my family's cooking/foraging acumen it can "read" as if I am blaming the poor, as with Sean Hannity's recent statements about "making a pot of rice and beans."
In my opinion, buying food and preparing meals is one of those things that is so fundamentally different when one is (even comparatively) well off that it can be hard to grasp that one's own experiences are shot through with privilege. For example (to use only my own case):
- My partner and I both work out of our own home. Our time is our own and very fungible. Therefore we can cook meals that require supervision all day long. We can cook foods that have rather indeterminate "ready" times.
- We have a car and can therefore easily comparison shop.
- We live in an area where a variety of local (cheap) food is available for a good part of the year.
- We can spend as much time as we like shopping without having the distraction/worry of children to look after.
- We have enough money that we can buy in bulk and take advantage of sales. Thus we may actually spend less over a year on food than do people who do not have the resources to stock up during sales or through buying in bulk.
- We have time and support that many other people don't have. Neither of us spends hours of our time going back and forth to work and usually we cook together which means no one is alone in the kitchen and work is shared between the two of us.
- We don't have hungry, tired, anxious children to watch, monitor and placate as we work in the kitchen.
- Even when we had less money than we now have we never had to make the choice between inadequate amounts (that is, amounts that would leave one hungry) of nutritious food and adequate amounts of less nutritious food. Most importantly, we never had to make that choice when some of the hungry mouths in the family would be those of children.
- Even when we had less money we always had relatives who would pitch in by bringing over food and helping in other ways.
What "hidden" forms of privilege do you see embedded in discussions about "the poor" and food?
 We realized not too long ago that there are some foodstuffs (food which keeps well) that we have never bought at full price. When there is a sale we stock up.
The Slacktiverse is a community blog. Content reflects the individual opinions of the contributors. We welcome disagreement in the comment threads, and invite anyone who wishes to present an alternative interpretation of a situation to write and submit a post.