Dr. Taco’s notes

Cooking means freedom

Knowing how to cook makes you free.

Maybe I have an unpopular opinion, but I think that being able to cook your own food, anytime and using ingredients you have on hand, releases you from depending on others to fulfill something so substantial as eating.

Since I moved to Germany, I’ve met many people (from different places) who don’t cook at all, in many cases they never learned how to do it, but also many of them told me that they don’t want to learn. It has given me the impression that cooking is seen as an activity marked for subjugated women, and housewives. So, for men cooking is sometimes seen as something they aren’t meant to do, and for many women it is seen with the stigma that if they cook they may not feel emancipated enough.

In Mexico it’s something very common for women to learn to cook since very young age, and in many households it’s still seen as an obligation. However, over the years whenever I visited my family, I’ve seen this has also changed. It has become more normal that men start to cook very early in life and take on household chores with the same responsibility as women — a slow change but change nonetheless.

During the pandemic of 2020, I saw how many people I knew were struggling because all restaurants were closed, and they didn’t know how to cook anything. Many were totally dependent on frozen food or eating raw vegetables and fruits only (not judging people who may actually pursue this diet form). During this period of time, with all the hardness and collective trauma we all got, I felt empowered, because I realized that I had at least one good post apocalyptic skill — cooking.

I feel that regardless of the society, cooking still has a big label of a domestic chore that enslaves and represses people. I think this is very unfortunate because cooking can be very beneficial for our psyche, motor skills, and mainly to become independent.

Cooking has shown to have positive benefits for our psyche and even cognitive development — hand work improves our memory, attention capabilities, and refined movements.

Additionally, cooking might foster the qualities that allow for the mitigation of psychosocial distress and promote well-being. Research has shown, that cooking is an evolutionary trait that helps us reduce our stress levels, and fosters many areas of our brain on a very subconscious level.

With all these benefits, some people still refuse to learn how to cook, I have heard arguments like “cooking is not my thing” or “cooking is so hard”. The thing is, and I know that from experience of my close friends, everyone can learn to cook (even if the person doesn’t have fun while doing it). You don’t need to be a fancy chef and cook super complex dishes but knowing how to cook some basic things, and knowing how to use basic cooking utensils can actually be a huge difference.

Viva la Revolución en la cocina!