Homesteading · Prepping

The Kitchen, The Dining Table and Why It Matters

A few years ago, just before the pandemic started, I sat on the board of a nonprofit that runs a local farmers market. It was usually pretty boring (which isn’t a bad thing), approving things and helping develop plans. A group applied to have a “non-profit” table, which some we did approve. Usually they would man a table with free handouts about their programs. For example, a local church sold bread they baked at their church, in their commercial kitchen. The money raised went into their charitable giving programs. It benefitted society, and they did not harass shoppers with their religion. A win win.

But this group that had applied, they were a local-ish “democratic socialist” group trying to develop an inroad to the area. They wanted to sell their magazines, their buttons, and other mass produced political items. Being I have a bias – I don’t like socialists at all – and I didn’t want our customers to have to listen to grand standing from a political group (and if you let one in, you have to let them all in, and we didn’t need to become the local fair, ya know?). I won’t mention the name, as I don’t need their rabidness at my door step, but you can figure out why I stood for it to not happen. I was able to block it based on the single tenet of we only allowed vendors who created their wares directly – or they came from actual artists (there were a couple people who would go to third world countries and help support women who were artists by taking their items to the US to sell). Selling ‘zines and buttons wasn’t handcrafted art if it pushed politics. The key was they wanted a free table, and to not have to pay.

I won. And they were blocked. It was that day though I realized that politics in that board were not in my favor, and soon enough I would leave the board in protest. The board president decided to make the board meetings during the pandemic his monthly Zoom meeting, where he’d scream and carry on about conservatives were evil, and how they were all white supremacists. The pandemic truly ripped back societal politeness and showed who people really were deep down. I was called horrible names by the president, he sent nasty emails to me – and to even people who rented garden plots at the campus. Telling them how I was a horrible person. It was just epically weird to say the least. It taught me a very hard lesson that there will be people who’d love to see you dead and gone, or at least punished for doing nothing wrong – because you don’t think like them.

That was also when I found out the town I live near was part of the Equality Colony back in the early 1900’s called the Freeland Colony. The socialists lost that time, and I wanted to ensure they didn’t come back 100 plus years later, ya know?

And you might wonder what this has to do with kitchens and dining tables.

It actually has to a lot to do with it. 

The boys and I have been studying Soviet Union politics this year. On how the Soviet Union became itself. How it took all the ethnic groups, stripped them of their individual markers, and forced assimilation into a single group. How it destroyed Russian culture and their unique foods by making food equitable (yes, there is a reason I really hate that word).

After the revolution as World War I was winding down, the peasants lost their way of life. Where they had lived as families, in an agrarian way of life, they were suddenly filing all these former farmers into cities, packing them in tightly. The government decided it was better for the system that the comrades should not have single homes, nor should they have a kitchen in the room they called home at night. It was often 10 families sharing a communal setup – a single bathroom and a single tiny kitchen, where before 1 family had lived. Forced to share, living in squalor.

Why though?

There were many reasons. But the biggest is they felt single family accommodations allowed people to think independently, and had privacy. By forcing families to live together they had little privacy during the 1920’s to the 1950’s, to when Stalin died. Humans were allotted 9 square meters per person. After Stalin died, eventually some change came, and apartments started to be built, to increase living spaces and they finally got a kitchen, tiny for sure, but it was for their family, in these new pre-fab concrete apartment buildings.

But when you think that out, it becomes very scary. They took a population that was barely educated, forced them into cities, and then tried to break up the nuclear family by allowing nearly no privacy. With constant food shortages (and actual famines), people had little food to cook. The Soviet leaders wanted to have it so no kitchens existed, and that they’d control all the food (what little they had those years). You would be 100% reliant on the government to be fed. You would go to work or school, and receive your breakfast and lunch. At night, you would eat at a cafeteria. It was pushed that this would “free” women from the drudgery of cooking and cleaning in a family. She would be free to work. She need not raise her children or cook. They government would do it for them. The government would keep everyone busy and productive for the cause.

But everyone would eat exactly the same food. And the same amount. For it wasn’t equitable should you cook at home, and your food was better than your housemates food. And more so, when people cook together, who like each other, they talk. The day is winding down. They talk about politics, the government and how life is. By removing this, people had nowhere safe to talk amongst themselves. Packed in with many others, they didn’t know them well and didn’t trust anyone. You had no idea who was reporting to the secret police for points. People would cook and scurry off like cockroaches, to hide in their tiny room to actually eat. They couldn’t talk much though, the walls were thin, and the ears listening in.

The cafeteria idea failed miserably (what a shocker) eventually by the 1930’s. Grey/beige slop 2-3 times a day was pretty dystopian. Lenin had ideas for sure, but they saw food as nothing more than fuel, not that it need to taste good or look appetizing. It is in our DNA to cook for ourselves, to be with loved ones. To have a place we can sit safely at and simply talk. The women they fancied that they would “set free” from household drudgery, in reality wanted food that tasted like what they had been cooking before.

In the United States, it has often been said that eating at the table with our children ensures a tighter bond. For we sit together and talk.

But….There is a dangerous trend brewing in the United States these past decades.

I am a member of Gen X solidly. We grew up during the Cold War, and all the propaganda of both sides. We are jaded for sure. Many of us grew up in a time when the US was pushing women into the work force. We grew up in the public school system but it wasn’t yet what it’d become, and often we were alone after school. We were the last generation to have that alone time though. I was raised by a stay at home mom (she went to work eventually, but not till I was a teenager) who cooked 99% of our meals. Many of my friends had similar backgrounds. Or, if their mom worked, she still cooked dinner and they ate together. When my Mom went to work I took over the cooking of dinner.

By the time Millennials came around, women working was the accepted norm in society. But these children didn’t have much privacy accorded to them. After school care, daycare, sports and enrichment programs took over their days. They were expected to stay connected to their parents. School became far more important. Women had less time to cook, to create. They commuted, which ate up so much time. Convenience foods became all the rage. Fast food boomed.

For Gen Z, they have not known a time with privacy. They have lived their lives online. Their parents know where they are, what they are doing. The schools have far too much control, essentially raising them as the government sees fit.

The amount of people that cook together and eat together dwindles yearly. We are told by companies that we are “too busy”. They will feed us. In a car, while driving around, or delivered to your tiny apartment in the city.

Democratic Socialists in the United States would tell you this is good. It is making us equals. Women don’t have to do the drudgery of household chores. You can work, which somehow makes you free, so you can spend all that money to have your chores done for you. And we can all eat the same bland equitable slop that passes for food. Alone.

While we have more food than the Soviet Union did 100 years ago, we are falling into the trap set for us. We are becoming reliant upon others to take care of ourselves. You will happily pay good money to eat subpar food that is just calories, if it is delivered to you. You will pay others to shop for you. You work to pay for these things, trapped in the system.

You have been told let us make life easier. Let us take away the drudgery. In many way corporations are the new governments. Rely on us and you won’t need to worry.

The 2030 Agenda in color blocks.

Think 2030 Agenda. 

Many people in first world countries are nearly there.

They are told that it is for equability, to end poverty, to stop global climate change. They will tell you that having all food controlled by the governments is beneficial for the citizens. For we cannot be trusted with it.

On paper it looks great – No poverty, no hunger, equality and so much more. You will order food as you need it, not keep it stocked for later use.

But in reality, the 2030 agenda is nothing more than Socialism/Communism hidden under colorful images. Brought to you by not just governments, but privately held corporations that will continue to get wealthy no matter what. Companies that own seeds, fertilizers, and the food, there is little room outside of their companies.

And if it fails ever, you will not know what to do. 

Knowing how to to cook, how to shop for food, how to grow food, how to preserve food, and why quality matters is becoming a lost way. It isn’t taught in school. Being self reliant doesn’t bond you with others, nor with being a good citizen. Even the Soviet Citizens who were not educated, they realized it sucked and fought back. Even so heavily brainwashed with violence, they knew it wasn’t right.

Solutions to lessen this change?

Be self-reliant.

Learn to embrace the foods that are part of your culture. Investigate other cultures and develop new tastes.

Learn to cook. Do it together.

Sit down at dinner with your loved ones. Talk about your days, about the things that mean something to each person. Share the daily drudgery of being a human.

Ask why you should be governed constantly in all aspects of your life. Ask why you let it happen.

Quit worrying about day to day life. Just keep focused on what you can do to improve YOUR life.

Grow food. Preserve food. Save seeds. Learn to embrace that work is hard, and it hurts.

Learn to do without or to not need it immediately. Teach your children this.

Be willing to be the part that doesn’t join.

From Welcome To 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never Been Better “All the people who do not live in our city. Those we lost on the way. Those who decided that it became too much, all this technology. Those who felt obsolete and useless when robots and AI took over big parts of our jobs. Those who got upset with the political system and turned against it. They live different kind of lives outside of the city. Some have formed little self-supplying communities. Others just stayed in the empty and abandoned houses in small 19th century villages.”

For in the end, to not be reliant on others, you will have to turn your back on society and live without it (potentially). You won’t have “been lost on the way”, rather you will have purposefully said “no thank you” and stepped off.

And that leads to:

Find people similar to you. Find people you can rely on, and they can rely on. Share your skills. Become resilient.

Find the people you would want to sit at your dining table. To eat bread with, to talk of your days.

Because there are so many people who want what that regional Democratic Socialist party preached – they want a place to live, food and not have to think about it. And they want everyone else to be the same, so that they will feel better about themselves. Instead of trying, they blame others for their lack in life. They believe it will set them free, however deluded they are.

Those people you should be nervous about. They want you as miserable as they are.

And always, eat with those you love and like. Never give up sharing food together, and the bonds it creates.