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Is Michael Pollan a sexist pig?

My grandmother, a 1960s housewife of the cigarette-in-one-hand-cocktail-in-the-other variety, thought a slab of frozen Sara Lee pound cake was a totally appropriate breakfast for her children. My mother, a busy working baby boomer, was a serviceable cook who mostly just wanted to get something healthy into her three kids’ bellies before bath time. This meant lots of cheese quesadillas, rotisserie chickens from the Kroger, and “face plates”—slices of banana, mini chicken sausages, olives, and the like, arranged like smiley faces. We loved those. Now divorced and in her fifties, she says she’s “done” cooking and happily subsists on granola bars and apples and hard-boiled eggs.

As for me, I’ve been learning to can jam, bake bread from scratch in my Dutch oven (though my husband is better at it), and make my own tomato sauce from a bushel of ugly tomatoes I bought at the farmer’s market.

My grandmother, were she not dead (the cigarettes), would no doubt look at me like I’m crazy.

“Don’t you know that you can buy that stuff ?” she’d ask.

But it’s not about buying stuff these days, it’s about making it (if you’re middle-class, liberal, and white, that is). Homemade, from scratch, DIY, straight from the backyard, fresh baked, artisan.

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