10 March 2019
I am not surprised that the number of Home Economics teachers has diminished to such an extent that a new initiative has been taken to recruit and train more. For quite some time, the school curriculum has been so pressurised that it became a Cinderella, gaining a reputation as a subject which was taken by less academically gifted young people.
Three strands of contemporary thought have come together to cast a sharp light on the value of the subject. Firstly, the extraordinary attraction of the celebrity chef and the value of being able to cook food in different ways even leading to a greater appreciation of other cultures.
Secondly, the realisation that we are what we eat and some of the things we have been eating like fat and sugar have not been very good for our physical and mental health. The increase in obesity levels exposes our need to know what is nutritious and what is not. This is science!
Thirdly, the growth in food banks and the need to teach people how to cook for less. It is not costly to make a bowl of porridge oats nor a plate of vegetable soup but it requires knowledge and experience to realise this. The cookery class can help!
The contemporary world has introduced us to foods from many lands and offered us the opportunity to value different cultures. And all of this is related to the value of hospitality and making room in our world for people who are different.
Jesus knew the power of food and the wisdom of hospitality. Why else was he given names which are directly related to the kitchen. ‘I am the bread of Life. I am the True Vine. I am the living water.’ In Him, we have food for life and the opportunity to be fulfilled for aye.