Getting out of your comfort zone can apply to many aspects of life, from working your body a little harder to taking time out and unplugging. The possibilities are endless! We like to think that some of you are game for new experiences in a most important component of life—food.
At Kate’s, we talk about "Real Food" a lot, what it means, and how it can be brought into our lives as often as possible. "Real" is not packaged. It doesn’t come in a box or a can. This drives the basic principles of the whole food movement, and beyond that foundation there is more. Questions arise regarding the benefits of organic, the proliferation of GMOs, and the freedom that comes with growing your own food.
Let’s go back to those basics and try to stay away from packaged food. There are many people out there that feed themselves within the boundaries of convenience. In their world, the only option is packaged food or take-out. Author Kathleen Flinn bends perceptions about making real food in your own kitchen. In her book, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, she gathers kitchen novices and teaches them the nuts and bolts of cooking from scratch.
Her inspiration came from a grocery store encounter. She walked by a cart parked in an aisle full of boxed and canned products. She assumed this cart was a collection of items on sale or that an employee had left it while stocking the shelves. She then discovered that the cart belonged to a working mother and the contents reflected her level of skill in the kitchen.
Flinn mustered up the courage to talk to this stranger about her shopping list. And by the time the conversation had fully played out, it was clear that help was needed. Thus, Flinn’s experiment began. She would impart skills where there were none, and give students the power to control the ingredients of their diet by using fresh, unprocessed food.
To many people, there is no authentic reason to question the ingredients of packaged food. "If it is bad for us, why would they sell it to us?" can be heard in kitchens throughout the country. But when you look at the ingredients on a box of easy prep, processed food, at what point do you become alarmed? When you cannot pronounce the ingredient, or when you simply have no idea what the purpose of it might be?
In this day and age, it is easy to educate yourself on answers to the questions the whole food movement has posed. There is legitimate information out there that helps navigate its meaning, and looking to someone like Flinn for guidance is an excellent start. By all means–give yourself a chance to both fail and succeed and soon you will understand that your kitchen has the power to take you out of your comfort zone.