Food

“Oh, I could NEVER share a kitchen!”

Food sharing (and kitchen sharing) is a huge perceived barrier for people new to collective living. Individually, we have strong preferences about what we choose to eat, and how we like to maintain our kitchen areas. Food is personal, and it is really really important! Also, horrific memories of dishes piling up and moldy fridges may linger from student days in shared housing.

Are there ways of sharing food that is organized and easy? YES!

See Who’s Cooking, Who’s Eating for descriptions of Systems of Organization that facilitate sharing meals.

Benefits of eating together:

Sitting down together to share regular meals builds:

  • friendships
  • trust
  • knowledge of each other & our lives
  • creates strong connections within collective houses.

Approaches for Collective Meals

Daily Shared Sit-down Dinners, everyone but the cook cleans: Each resident cooks dinner one night a week, and we are all home for dinner at least half the time. Dinner is at a set time every night. Everyone but the cook cleans up together after eating. Works for people with regular schedules who like to be home a fair bit. Dishes do not build up! See Meal Planning Tools for the How To.

Daily Shared Sit-down Dinners, cook cleans: Each resident cooks dinner one night a week, and we are all home for dinner at least half the time. Dinner is at a set time every night. The cook is also responsible for clean up and stocking the bulk food bins on their cook night. Works for people who don’t have time regularly after dinner, but who can dedicate 3 or 4 hours to food one time per week. Also works for larger houses where the cook is actually a team of people working together on one night. Dishes do not build up!

Daily Dinners, cook cleans: Each resident cooks dinner one night a week, and we don’t usually eat together. Food is left out for people to eat when personally convenient. Works for folks with variable schedules.

Spontaneous with Intention: Everyone tries to cook dinner one night per week, and if others are around then they eat as well. Works for people who are committed to sharing to a relatively equal degree, who value spontaneity.

Less Frequent Dinners, planned cook: One shared meal a week, or a month.

 

 

“When I am in the kitchen, and I am making a meal at the same time as someone else, it stresses me out! I am afraid that they will use something that I need from the fridge. I feel competitive rather than cooperative.
My preference is shared dinners as often as possible. It is the greatest part about collective living for me, this actual support for my life. Also, I feel so connected to the community that develops by breaking bread together regularly.”

-Beehive Resident

 
 

What food do we want to we share in common?

In order to answer the question of ‘eating better’ for ourselves we sat down together on a sunny afternoon and did some visioning. These priorities will be different for every collection of people, and can change through time within the same group.

Here are some of the things we discussed about our food:

  • What food will be shared in common? Vegetarian / Vegan / Nuts / Meat / Fruit / milks / dairy / eggs / coffee / etc.
  • Where does the house food come from: Local / in Country / bio-regional?
  • Systems of production: Home Grown / Co-op / Fair Trade?
  • Amount and type of packaging?
  • Amount of processing?
  • Organic?
  • Cost?
  • Salvaged?

For an example see BEEHIVE FOOD VALUES

CHERRY TREE FORT FOOD VALUES, link coming.

Published on January 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm  Comments Off on Food