I am going to try and get back on board for this blog and my first order of business was updating the banner and layout.  I’m rather proud of it if I do say so myself.  And so the second order of business would be to write a post with some substance to it.  I have been mulling over what I could possibly write about including items from my personal life, information from class, or just hitting up an idea from another blog.

I have opted for an intersection of the first and last of the ideas on the list.

Over at Jezebel there is a post asking if Women Bear the Burden of Ethical Eating.  In the last few years there has been a growing focus on organics, veg*nism, and local food with such books at the 100 Mile Diet.  Such dietary choices are presented for everyone alike and yet the question must be asked, who is at the forefront of this movement?  Are women and men alike jumping on board with ethical eating or are women disproportionately dealing with ethical food choices?

I would argue that women are, indeed, disproportionately those most concerned with ethical eating.  This, of course, does not mean that there are not men who are passionate about ethical eating, but I think we can agree that in general women are still the ones spending the most time with food for themselves and their families.

There is an overabundance of cooking television channels and shows that are directed at women as the provider of sustenance for her family.  Our media tells us that Mom has difficulty finding time to cook and so has microwave meals or KFC’s “Mom’s Night Off” to help her out.

And so I do think that there is a gender gap in ethical eating.  Women are spending the time thinking about veg*n lifestyles, organic fruit and vegetables, or providing food locally produced.

On a personal note, I have seen this in my own life as I have always been the one more concerned about healthy eat and implementing it.  In part this is because, being a girl child, I have had a lot of practice thinking about food starting from a young age helping my mother in the kitchen.  When I made the choice to follow a vegetarian diet it was my choice alone and meat-free meals are in the home of my partner and I mainly because I do all the cooking.  This is not to say that I do the cooking or grocery shopping alone, but I do recognize that I am the main force behind creating meal plans, choosing foods, and following dietary restrictions.

Vegetarianism and masculinity still do not mesh well socially as he and I have combated notions of meat deprivation and therefore emasculating.   This suggests that it may be all fine and good for women to follow plant based diets but men should be sure to eat a whole cow once a week.  This undermines ethical eating and places it in the realm of Other, a place that men should never want to find themselves.

So, how can this gender gap be closed?

There are a couple of things that I think is working for me and my partner. The first is dialog about ethical eating.  He is open to talking about why I have come to my conclusions and has recently made the choice to look into some of them further on his own.  This also includes talking with family and friends about ethical food choices as well.  Secondly, we grocery shop and prepare meals together as much as possible.  For us this helps foster equality in the kitchen a real traditionally inhabited by women and girls.  These are ways that are getting us on track to eliminate the disproportion of ethical eating and food preparation.

What are some other ways that the gender gap can be closed when it comes to food and ethical eating?