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Should We Call B.S. on Busy Parents?

Did anyone happen to see the Message to Food Editors post Michael Ruhlman wrote on HuffPo last week? In it, he blamed magazine editors, Food Network stars (Rachael Ray…even Jamie Oliver!) for putting too much emphasis on getting food to the table quickly, therefore driving more people to eat and cook with processed ingredients. He also castigated parents pleading “too busy” to cook. Here’s a taste:

“I [was responding] to what everyone [cookbooks, TV shows] seems to believe and propagate: that we all lead such busy lives that we have no time to cook…To repeat: bulls–t. Maybe you don’t like to cook, maybe you’re too lazy to cook, maybe you’d rather watch television or garden, I don’t know and I don’t care, but don’t tell me you’re too busy to cook. We all have the same hours every day, and we all choose how to use them. Working 12-hour days is a choice…Tell me, do you ever hear this? “You know, this month, I really wished I’d had more time, because I believe in paying taxes. I was just too busy.” Or, “I’ve got this cancer on my forehead but I’ve just been too busy to have it removed.” Or, “You know how hard it is to get your kid into kindergarten in Manhattan; if only I weren’t been so busy.”

What does everyone think? I have made that choice. My kids eat a home-cooked meal six out of seven nights a week and I’m pretty much obsessed with family dinner. But it’s at the expense of a lot of other things. Sometimes when I get home from work (where all day I have been obsessing about what I might serve for dinner) I am so focused on getting that dinner cooked that I find I have barely registered five real minutes saying hello to my children. Last night I was so worried about monitoring the miso-glazed salmon (coming soon!) under the broiler that I could only help my first-grader with her math in three-second stints. And I have it relatively easy — burning salmon is a ridiculous problem in the scheme of things. I don’t work 12-hour shifts, I am not a single mom, I don’t commute an hour each way to my job. What choice do those parents make? Eager to hear your thoughts on this.

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