by Jenny Rempel, ’12
The following is an excerpt from Jenny’s weekly column in The Stanford Daily:
On the gas stove whose pilot lights never work, oversize pots bubble furiously under mismatched lids. There is a deep rumble as the overhead fan emerges from its stupor and begins literally sucking air out of the room, frantically trying to forestall another run-in with the firemen. It’s 15 minutes until dinnertime, and things are as they should be in Synergy.
Several friends spent the afternoon preparing pesto, whole wheat pasta, goat cheese salad, roasted asparagus and blackberry pies for dinner in this house of 50 students. Although things have become a little hectic in the final minutes before serving, all seven girls now helping in the kitchen have had a wonderful time cooking.
This is a rare scene on campus, though. While cooking is a daily part of life in cooperative houses like mine, the majority of campus residences don’t offer students meaningful opportunities to learn in the kitchen.
This is a missed opportunity for Stanford to teach students an essential life skill. Cooking can build community, empower students as actors in their food systems and demonstrate the environmental, social and health implications of food.
Jenny Rempel is a senior majoring in Earth Systems with a passion for food justice. She believes in the healing power of weeding.