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Sunday Eye Rolls: Get Paid to Cook Your Own Food

New job opportunity, from The New York Times, no less: Pay People to Cook At Home.

THE home-cooked family meal is often lauded as the solution for problems ranging from obesity to deteriorating health to a decline in civility and morals. Using whole foods to prepare meals without additives and chemicals is the holy grail for today’s advocates of better eating.

Cunning lede, wouldn’t you say? Who among us can disagree with that? For my own account, I harp on it all the time: eat real food you source yourself and cook at home.

So since people don’t seem to be doing it, like, on their own, as something pretty obvious…

But how do we get there? For many of us, whether we are full-time workers or full-time parents, this home-cooked meal is a fantasy removed from the reality of everyday life. And so Americans continue to rely on highly processed and refined foods that are harmful to their health.

…”this home-cooked meal is a fantasy removed from the reality of everyday life.”

Got that, alls yooz out there ‘living a fantasy?’

Those who argue that our salvation lies in meals cooked at home seem unable to answer two key questions: where can people find the money to buy fresh foods, and how can they find the time to cook them?

1: The same place they find the money to drive a big SUV, buy gas and Starbucks at $4 a pop, have every premium cable or satellite channel on offer, and the average 5 meals per week they eat out per week, et cetera. And the list goes on, and on. Look, Americans are pampered, now, and consume far more of the non-essentials than any country on earth by far. It’s only politicians and their whores clamoring for the victims sos they can tell you different. Go visit a mexican market where the “poor” go to shop. They can a lot more about food quality than you do, in fact. Go visit one in Mexico and be ashamed. They fucking rival Whole Foods (which isn’t even so that great, in my opinion).

2: Watching TV, surfing the internet, checking in on Facebook and Foursquare…to mention just a few.

In other words, this is simply a mater of priorities, not inability and certainly not victims of anything but perhaps their own twisted sense of such priorities.

The failure to answer these questions…

Just shut up, Kristin Wartman, you strawman peddler. I easily answered those questions and moreover, the answers are fucking obvious to anyone with half a brain.

I believe the solution to getting people into the kitchen exists in a long-forgotten proposal. In the 1960s and ’70s, when American feminists were fighting to get women out of the house and into the workplace, there was another feminist arguing for something else. Selma James, a labor organizer from Brooklyn, pushed the idea of wages for housework. Ms. James, who worked in a factory as a young woman and later became a housewife and a mother, argued that household work was essential to the American economy and wondered why women weren’t being paid for it. As Ms. James and a colleague wrote in 1972, “Where women are concerned their labor appears to be a personal service outside of capital.”

Why stop there? I’d like to get paid for walking the dogs. How about that? Taking a shower? How about stopping at red lights? Why don’t we just toss all production right into a big cannibal pot and watch the hysteria over who’s going in, and who gets to feast?

She argued that it was a mistake to define feminism simply as equal pay in the work force. Instead, she wanted to formally acknowledge the work women were already doing. She knew that women wouldn’t stop doing housework once they joined the work force — rather they would return home each evening for the notorious “second shift.”

Indeed. And I for one want to get paid for taking out the trash, fixing the faucet the other day, watering the plants…and oh yea, there were those two loads of laundry last Friday evening while Bea was out partying it up with friends from school.

Many feminists at the time ignored the Wages for Housework campaign, while some were blatantly antagonistic toward it. Even today, with all the talk of the importance of home cooking — a huge part of housework — no one ever seems to mention Ms. James or Wages for Housework.

…Because it’s the most moronic idea ever, fucktard; that’s why. It’s an Occam’s Razor kinda thing, you see? Leave it to an idiot to sit and wonder over the obvious and why ‘people aren’t talking about it.’ Look, I’m as much a fan of nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the public as the next guy, but there are limits, even for half brains.

…Since women first began to enter the work force, families have increasingly relied on processed foods and inexpensive restaurant meals.

Oh bullshit. They haven’t “relied” on any such thing, dumbshit. People eat out because it’s relatively cheap, and even when they do “cook” at home it’s often “instant” or “quick” packaged crap, both of which frees them to catch up on the DVR while the kids play xBox.

It’s nearly impossible for a single parent or even two parents working full time to cook every meal from scratch, planning it beforehand and cleaning it up afterward. This is why many working parents of means employ housekeepers. But if we put this work on women of lower socioeconomic status (as is almost always the case), what about their children? Who cooks and cleans up for them?

“It’s nearly impossible…” Which actually means it’s possible; which is to say that Kristin Wartman merely thinks its wiwy, wiwy haad. Poor child adults just can’t seem to figure out how to do something as basic as feed themselves real and good food. Jesus, it’s a wonder people even manage to show up for work showered, shaved and clothed. It’s wiwy, wiwy haad.

In the Wages for Housework campaign, Ms. James argued for a shorter workweek for all, in part so men could help raise the children. This is not a pipe dream. Several Northern European nations have instituted social programs that reflect the importance of this work. The Netherlands promotes a “1.5 jobs model,” which allows men and women to work 75 percent of their regular hours when they have young children. In Sweden, parents can choose to work three-quarters of their normal hours until children turn 8.

At whose expense? At the expense of those who don’t have small children—kinda like the commie equivalent of friends and relatives helping parents of young kids out now & then or even regularly; but in this case, you get the help from strangers, those helping are helping strangers, and it’s all managed by a middle man through forced taxation.

Observe:

To get Americans cooking, we need to make it possible. Stay-at-home parents should qualify for a new government program while they are raising young children — one that provides money for good food, as well as education on cooking, meal planning and shopping — so that one parent in a two-parent household, or a single parent, can afford to be home with the children and provide wholesome, healthy meals. These payments could be financed by taxing harmful foods, like sugary beverages, highly caloric, processed snack foods and nutritionally poor options at fast food and other restaurants. Directly linking a tax on harmful food products to a program that benefits health would provide a clear rebuttal to critics of these taxes. Business owners who argue that such taxes will hurt their bottom lines would, in fact, benefit from new demand for healthy food options and from customers with money to spend on such foods.

Social engineering at its “finest.” Just a new government program. Here’s how we’ll sell it. We’ll tell women that the choice to get married, get a job, have children anyway wasn’t a choice at all and it isn’t their fault. They’re victims of a burden patriarchal society places upon them. It’s not real in the sense of natural. It’s a construct and they are victims. Their husbands are lousy, never help, are more of a burden…and what they wiwy need is for Obama the Messiah and his Immaculately Stupid Bitch to step in and replace husband, grandparents, good friends and of course, basic home economic accounting.

Hell, why not just make it easy and put a federal or state employee in every household?

If we truly value domestic work, we should also enact workplace policies that incentivize health, like “health days” that employees could use for health-promoting activities: shopping for food, cooking, or tending a community garden.

And of course, if you don’t advocate “enacting workplace policies,” then you don’t “truly value domestic work.” See how easy that was?

We can’t democratize good food without placing tangible value on the work done in the home. So while proponents of healthier eating are right to emphasize the importance of home-cooking and communal meals, we will never create an actual movement without placing a cultural and monetary premium on the hard work of cooking and the time and skills needed to do it.

Well I know that “democratiz[ing] good food” is certainly on the top of my list. No need for any concern over lowest common denominators or anything like that. I’m sure that when food, like health care, has been fully democratized (that’s euphemism for socialized, incidently)—from each according to his ability, to each according to his need—that like all other fully democratic measures in history, the laws of economics get magically repealed, the cream rises to the top, everyone lives in the lap of comfort and luxury—and two wolves and one sheep always vote circumspectly and with mutual respect on what’s for dinner. Pollyanna is a best seller in perpetuity.

Kristin Wartman is a journalist who writes about food, health, politics and culture.

I think she should go get an honest job.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

18 Comments

  1. beans mcgrady on May 19, 2013 at 13:21

    It is fascinating to me the variety of ways people will beg for more government control.
    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  2. Greg W on May 19, 2013 at 14:47

    ” Kristin Wartman is a journalist who writes about food, health, politics and culture.”

    “”I think she should go get an honest job.””
    Are you saying being a journalist (paid by someone with an agenda and told what to write) isn’t a “real honest” job? HEHEH HAHAHA

  3. Puzzled on May 19, 2013 at 14:54

    Absurd beyond belief. However, it should be pointed out that libertarian suggestions, if taken seriously, would lead to the sorts of outcomes she wants anyway, without any redistribution or idiotic policies. Without IP and guard labor, Kevin Carson estimates the average workday can be as short as 2 hours (with those who work more earning more.) This would require a shift of values, though – to the sorts of values we believe in, in the paleo world – and such things as eliminating taxes and the Fed. So this journalist should stop whoring for handouts and start calling for an end to taxation.

  4. CCM on May 19, 2013 at 15:30

    Outrageous to pay for something necessary for posterity: the care, feeding and nuturing of children. As if future generations don’t depend on doing a good job taking care of the current generation.

    But, hey, bailouts for parasitic bankers, laws protecting poison-making pharmaceuticals and big Ag (Monsanto), fraudulent wars for profit-grabbing mercenaries (Blackwater, Halliburton, etc.). That’s all good. Freedom-loving democracy at its finest.

    And, yeah, for those who haven’t been saddled with the burden of raising children they can’t afford, who do you think will be changing your Depends, and wiping your drool, in your twilight years? Someone’s children. Better hope they were taught to be good and compassionate, and were properly nourished to be strong enough to help you out of that bathtub.

  5. Geoff on May 19, 2013 at 15:37

    Where do I send the invoice for the locally sourced “boeuf bourguignon” I made for my family this evening?

    Hell, why stop at household labor? Can’t I get paid for all of my social politesse that keeps our society functioning oh so smoothly? Really, that “Thank you,” ain’t gonna pay for itself…is it?

  6. Jscott on May 19, 2013 at 15:46

    Typically I do not like the “it is a matter of priorities” mantra. This time I do.

    I am on the road more than I am not. My hours are crazy. I still cook. Sometimes that means making meals for the week on Sunday. I plan ahead. For less than a hundred bucks you can create a kitchen in any hotel room.

    But then, cooking matters to me.

    Good rebuttle to the NY piece, Richard.

  7. Puzzled on May 19, 2013 at 17:00

    Not sure if CCM is actually making an argument, but if so – do some here support the wars, bailouts, and subsidies? Who are you supposedly pointing out?

    As for the rest – you’ll notice this is a site about eating and exercising properly, the point of which is, largely, to be healthy up to the end. I would prefer to live a happy, healthy life, then die, without being kept alive in the manner you discuss.

    And yes, the future depends on good parenting. That seems like a good reason to do it, not to rob others.

  8. Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2013 at 18:32

    Yea, JS, I’m often loath to use it even when applicable because there’s a slippery slope deal because its an amoral proposition. So you quickly get stuff like, “what about the military, bailouts, etc.” In fact, I think there was already a comment to that effect by someone “saddled” with children, which I guess means that someone just came right up and tied them onto her back.

  9. Daniel Kirsner on May 19, 2013 at 21:47

    Well of course we need to do this. Because of the threat of global warming. And rampant, unfettered capitalism. And the Tea Party. And white people and their Eurocentric ideas. And institutional racism. And inequality. And greed.

    I hope those meals will be vegan. And that any and all guests will be welcome, or at least those of color, members of the LBGT community, the undocumented, those without health insurance (the disgrace!), cl0thing, access to bathing facilities, etc.

    Of course these meals must contain no potential allergens, and they must be cooked and served in accordance with all applicable state, Federal and local ordinances for cleanliness, food safety, and so on.

    Oh–and don’t forget the wheelchair ramps, safety bars in the bathroom(s), and other required accommodations.

  10. Sean on May 20, 2013 at 03:39

    Richard, I remember when you could give out a hat tip. What happened to you, man? You used to be one of us. Now you are Mr Fucking Hollywood.

    A quick wiki of Selma James finds that she founded the International Wages for Housework Campaign. And by wages she means govnm’t subsidies of course. The ironic thing is, this is supposed to be a feminist initiative, yet who would bear the brunt of the taxes for these subsidies? Presumably, higher income families where the man and woman both work–so she essentially wants to penalize women who want to work.

    In order to make this truly feminist, the tax for these subsidies ought to be applied only to single men, like Augustus’s bachelor tax. Single working women already suffer under the yoke of the patriarchy.

  11. Amy on May 20, 2013 at 04:18

    Richard, excellent rebuttal. I’m sharing this pronto.

    At the risk of sounding like a complete ‘Thal female slave-mate, I consider the “wages” for my domestic and parenting work to be the shelter, food, and amenities my husband provides for me and our children with his labor. He trusts me not to spend money indiscriminately, and if we need or want something extra or special, we discuss the purchase. How absolutely caveman-ish an arrangement! This leaves me time to tend the kitchen garden, the chickens, the children and their educations, and prepare homecooked meals every day. Shockingly, I don’t drive a new car or have a wardrobe I turn over every season or have my kids enrolled in four different activities to “improve their socialization and educational achievements.”

    Status whoring may be a bigger part of this than anyone realizes.

    Sean said: the tax for these subsidies ought to be applied only to single men, like Augustus’s bachelor tax. Single working women already suffer under the yoke of the patriarchy.

    Right-o! But this would, theoretically, encourage more marriage so the men could escape the tax, and then where would gov get the money…of course, divorce-rape might be enough the scare bachelors off of marriage and just pay the tax.

    Does the author of the Times piece not realize that we already have this massive wealth transfer scheme in place, for undocumented resident foreign nationals, single and “choice” mommies, and other assorted people who can’t/won’t/aren’t working? It’s not big enough, I suppose, time to get everyone on welfare already. Only then will we win the battle against ourselves and love BB.

  12. Ulfric Douglas on May 20, 2013 at 06:42

    You ALREADY PAY for this sort of stuff by paying taxes and watching while the Gov shares some of it out to useless fuckwits. Some of those useless fuckwits cook. Job done.
    The journalist just wants … a Gov invigilator in every kitchen to keep tabs on how much real food cooking is done and apportion the stolen funds according to the amount cooked?
    More Robot Guards needed!

  13. ladysadie1 on May 20, 2013 at 07:04

    “Nearly impossible for single parents…'” I call bullshit. Not only is it possible, it is necessary, and people do it all the time. I have cooked nearly every single meal for my kids for years. You don’t even have to be that smart to prepare a good meal. If people are eating at restaurants or even fast food places that gets expensive very quickly.

  14. Paul C on May 20, 2013 at 08:16

    Reading and responding to this cost me the time to fry an egg. Someone owes me a meal.

  15. Joseph on May 20, 2013 at 15:27

    In light of the article you tear apart here, I wonder whether somebody gets really sad every time I decide to fast rather than “stimulate the economy” by ordering another burrito? It seems that there really are people out there who think it is my moral duty to shop, even if I don’t have any money (or interest, i.e. “hunger”): http://www.legalzoom.com/taxes/personal-taxes/uncle-sam-wants-you.

    If patriotism requires me to have an insatiable appetite, then I am sorry: I simply can’t do it. Even if I wanted to, the reality is that my needs are finite, and my wants are too. I don’t want an infinitude of stuff. I don’t want more (of everything, even things I like) constantly and forever. I actually get a really nice kick out of being satisfied with less. I like it when I enjoy omission more than commission, and when my commission is smaller (pun intended).

  16. Sean on May 21, 2013 at 02:23

    Joseph, one thing that’s quite different here in Europe, or at least in the part I live. A lot less addiction to cheap consumption.

    There’s a variety of causes. Certainly there seems to be a reaction to communism and the cheap shitty products that only were available at the time.

    Another is that everything is expensive here and that tends to push people into buying more expensive stuff in general. Sounds kind of weird but because things are more expensive in general, people are forced to be more careful with their money, and the higher baseline prices pushes up the marginal rate of quality. If the crappy version costs three hundred bucks (and would’ve cost 100 bucks in the States) and the decent version costs 400 bucks (say 200 in the States) a smart shopper will get the decent version. People have small flats here but they are usually exquisitely well done. It’s quite common to live at home for ten years, save one’s money and buy a flat for cash. Then live at home for another couple of years while the flat is reconstructed.

    I imagine this will change and is probably already changing for the Czechs as people become more inculcated in cheap consumerism despite the disparity in prices and availability.

  17. Tom Naughton on May 21, 2013 at 09:59

    Brilliant idea! Instead of our current situation (I work, get paid, and give money to Chareva to run the household), the government will take more of my income, deduct a big chunk to pay itself for the trouble, then give the remainder to Chareva to run the household.

    Naturally, after this wunnerful idea is instituted, a constituency will build up around it and complain every election cycle that the subsidies aren’t large enough. It’s for the children, you see. So politicians will budget more than the taxes on “bad foods” (which will include good fatty foods) bring in, and we’ll borrow more money from China to goose it up.

  18. Richard Nikoley on May 22, 2013 at 08:30

    @Tom:

    Hey, you’re a coder guy so here’s another idea. Create a new programming language. Let’s call it LI++ (Logic-Illogic). When you write the compiler, you’ll have documentation sections that begin something like this:

    -/ This subroutine is where no matter what is mathematically calculated, the result given will make everyone happy.

    -/ This subroutine assigns a randomly generated ‘C-factor’ (“for the children”) to everything previously calculated, such that positive results based on illogical input are multiplied even farther.

    -/ This subroutine assigns a D or R factor (based on the input value of whether the user is Democrat or Republican). So the same input values will either be doubled or cut in half depending upon user political affiliation.

    Or something like that.

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