Initially, when my group conceived and idea for the Week 12 meal that revolved around microwaves, I wondered whether perhaps using microwaves removed some of the ‘magic’ of a shared meal; then, upon remembering the Tokyo Picnic Club, I realised that what we were really proposing was a picnic with a convenient method of on-site cooking.
That aside, I then started to wonder about the significance using of microwaves, and the significance of cooking, and I realised that the worth of one lifestyle over another depends largely on your perspective.
If one comes from a family that actively cooks all their meals, for example, and has a hearty diet, they would likely view microwaveable meals as being lazy and unhealthy.
But, to introduce a third perspective, I come from a family that grows almost all our food; even if, here in the city, I buy all my own food and then cook all my own meals, city living will never live up to the diet I have back at home. We plant the trees. We spend hours in harsh weather maintaining the orchid. We argue over which trees to get rid of and which ones to keep. We wash dirt off vegetables and collect eggs from our chooks–and the taste. Nothing I eat in the city has ever compared to the divine, succulent, utterly wonderful taste of homegrown produce. We are involved in every single aspect of the food we eat; no pesticides, no chemicals, no impurities. Even the water we use is tank-supplied. To me, the food I buy in the city is impure, and tastes vastly different. The closest I can come is buying food from places like Queen Victoria Markets, and even then it isn’t the same.
So, you see, it all depends on perspective. Is it not our duty to explore all perspectives? To understand every person’s way of life? To delve into the world of microwaveable convenience, if only to appreciate the differences between the lives we live?
Kate Kidson-Purry, posted 23 August 2016, various original dates, photographs.