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home : commentary : thisissue April 30, 2016

Where are the recipes?
"We live to eat, we eat to live; we eat to love, we love to eat."
-Shannon Drury, click here to read her column


by Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson


What's a women's magazine without chocolate chip cookie recipes, how to lose 15 pounds in a week, celebrity makeup tips or pointers on how to catch the man of your dreams? That's not what you'll find here.

Food and women-the theme of this issue-is complicated territory. Popular culture tells us to show our love by baking warm cookies and preparing home-cooked meals but at the same time tells us that we shouldn't eat those cookies lest we gain an ounce or two.

Hillary Rodham Clinton got in trouble on her husband's presidential campaign trail many years ago over her comments about not staying home and baking cookies. If we choose a life in the home, baking those cookies, we are criticized for giving up our power and potential in the workplace-or worse-being lazy welfare moms. If we choose a career outside the home-or have no other choice-we are criticized for abandoning our children and spouse and being bad parents and partners.

Food is a paradox for women-a way our culture can tell us we are not enough, that we should be more-a better cook, feed our families more organic and natural foods, accomplish more. The same culture can tell us we are too much, we should get smaller-lose weight, take up less space, get rid of those flabby arms, not be so loud or opinionated or strong.

In a recent Dove video, women are asked to describe their appearance to an artist who could not see them but drew them based on the description. Then someone else, who had briefly met the subjects, described those same women to the artist and he drew them again based on the second descriptions. Without exception, the second portraits were more, relaxed, soft, interesting ... and accurate. The women defined themselves as having less inner and outer beauty than a stranger did. How often do we not see our own power and beauty as much as even a near-stranger does?

So, if not recipes and diet tips, what's in this food-themed issue of the Women's Press? You'll find stories about food justice activists, women-owned food businesses and social commentary on eating disorders and cooking to express love. And, as always, books.

Food sustains us physically and socially, it connects us politically and economically, locally and globally. Food can be a means to personal joy, entrepreneurism and communal caring.

Coming up:

Women on the Go is July's focus and we're asking: Where would you go if you had no fear? Tell us about it.
Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: June 10, 2013

July advertising sections:
• Celebrate Your Independents-Buy Local Guide
• Food & Drink Guide
• Health Guide
• Women & Pets Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: June 10, 2013

What We Wear is our focus in August and we're asking: Have you ever had power clothing? A black suit? A red cape? What's your power story? Tell us about it.
Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: July 10, 2013
August advertising sections:
• Education & Lifelong Learning Guide
• Women Going Places Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: July 10, 2013

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