Bates on rise of baking and cooking during pandemic

April 5, 2020
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Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication student Karen Bates was interviewed by CBC about the rise in baking and cooking in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is an excerpt:

"There seems to be a shared cultural value around cooking, baking that is coming out now — it's normally sort of buried in our busy economic industrial society," she said.

"And then there's that survival aspect —we realize we're not masters of this earth, there's this little virus that can take us all down, and how do we reconnect with being part of natural living systems? Cooking [is] one of those things that connects us to natural living systems. Food is one of those things that connects us to the earth."

Bates said she noticed the trend when she, one day into her own quarantine, baked a loaf of sourdough and went to post it on Twitter — only to discover dozens of people had already done the same.

She theorized that people who don't often cook — perhaps used to eating out or ordering in — are suddenly scrambling to feed themselves as their favourite restaurants shutter and delivery options become less available.

"It makes you think, when you have to step outside the economic frame that we're in, how long is that economic frame going to go on? How resilient are you when that economic frame isn't in place — what do you need to know?" she said.

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