|Re: food handling/partitioned dining rm||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Hungerford, David (dghungerforducdavis.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 19 May 94 17:11 CDT|
Personal to Gareth Fenley--I'll check and get back to you, maybe early next week. To Rob Sandelin re: is food contamination really a problem? I think Robert Hartman expressed better than I the problem of multiple pathways of exposure/infection. Did you know, for instance, that people who handle money for a living get more viral infections, on average, than the population as a whole? One problem that he didn't mention, however, is that when you prepare a large volume of food, you tend to leave it out of the refrigerator longer. At home, you cut up one chicken; it takes five minutes. In cohousing, you cut up 12 chickens and it takes an hour (longer, actually), and unless you're our registered dietician or otherwise extremely conscientious about this sort of thing, you leave all the chicken out the whole time. Also, the number of times the refer is opened is a function of how many need access. In our place, the thing is constantly opening and closing before, during, and after meals. There is also the fact that in a common refer, you have to look harder to find what you want because you didn't put it in there, somebody else did. Comparing cohousing to the community kitchens you mentioned, I'd bet those organizations buy all the food for a meal the day, or the day before, the meal is prepared. We make bulk purchases once, sometimes twice, a month on things like cheese, eggs, salad dressing, plain yogurt . . . you get the idea. We also leave leftovers there for sometimes many days. We also store garden produce there. There is also the capacity issue. We can do these things because we have a big fridge, and a big fridge has to re-cool a larger air volume. I also can't imagine not sterilizing the utensils. You can either buy a dishwasher to do it or you can do a simple bleach rinse (a couple a tablespoons in a dishtub of water, use rubber gloves). regarding partitioning off the dining room to 60% capacity. We've had no need to do that to keep a feeling of intimacy. We freely move our tables around. Sometimes small separate groups feel nice. Other times we push tables together and make like the Waltons. I've noticed in talking to future cohousers who visit us, in articles in the _Cohousing_ newsletter, and in this forum the almost overwhelming desire to maximize community interaction at the design level. We used the same words and designed with the same goals 5 years ago. I see this same underlying idea in the concern that the dining room be partitioned to feel more intimate with smaller meals attendance. Well, if you do move into cohousing, chances are that you will get as much community interaction as you want--and maybe more. Sometimes people want to eat in the Common House, but they also want to be alone, or with only a small number of other people. Sure you want to design to encourage interaction, but you don't need to do things to prevent possibilities for privacy. In fact, if you don't design to allow privacy, even in community spaces, you may end up having problems. If you're not living in cohousing now, you probably became interested in the concept because you feel a certain lack of community, an isolation that is part of American suburban double-garage door opener hide in the backyard watch TV because you never know your neighbors spend money at the mall to be happy and go into debt at christmas to impress your relatives consumer culture. The idea of a friendly community fills that need. BUT. Once you've spent every second of your free time with your community for a few months, its nice to get a little private to balance it all out. Sometimes living in cohousing can be too much; the ideal of consensus decision-making is wonderful, but in real life application it often means that for any decision, someone has to subsume her needs/desires/perception to the overwhelming needs/desires/perceptions of the larger group. Sometimes consensed group expectations seem managable at the meeting, but then end up taking far too much time in actual practice (Sure, if we all put in 13 hours apiece we can have that [fill in your preferred amenity here] built by Spring). And sometimes people's feelings get hurt; and sometimes people get angry and need to blow off steam; and sometimes people just need to be alone. That doesn't mean cohousing isn't working, or that you made a design error; it just means that sometimes people need space. Everyone in cohousing doesn't have to be a best friend to get along, they just need to have a desire and willingness to work things out--and that sometimes requires a little space and a little time. Once you live together you can't just leave the group--the prospect of selling a house forces people to stay together even if they find they are not of exactly the same mind on some things. I suppose I'm making a mountain out of a molehill on the partitioning of a dining room, but it started me on this line of thought so I thought I'd share it. I'll get back to work now. David Hungerford
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.