Welcome to Common Eating. This blog is replacing my former blog, Dining with Donald. As I explained, I’m moving away from doing restaurant reviews. The intention of this blog is to focus on issues such as food security, food sovereignty, food theology, and eating together.
While I am just starting this blog up, I’m bringing a long about 10-15% of the posts from my old blog. These are posts that reflect on themes listed in the above paragraph. As an explanation for why I shut down Dining with Donald, I’m offering the text of my final post from that site, below.
I’m currently taking down Dining with Donald, but it is more work than I thought.
This is my final post for Dining With Donald. After almost ten and a half years I am shutting the blog down. This may seem like a sudden decision, but I’ve been thinking about it for around a year and a half.
Although this is my final post, I will be leaving Dining With Donald up for a few weeks, I want to remove it from the internet in good fashion. The Dining With Donald Facebook page will likely remain even longer.
There are three big reasons for bringing Dining With Donald to an end. I have a fourth one as well, which I will deal with later:
The Cost: This has always been more of a hobby blog than anything. I’m not an entrepreneur, and so this has never become a side-hustle. With inflation rising, it simply has become to expensive to eat out as much as I would like.
The Time: Part of the time element, is the amount of time it takes to eat and write. However, maintaining a blog takes a lot of time. Things like checking and fixing broken links. Further, sites like WordPress are always changing the way they design their blogs, and it’s a pain in the ass trying to keep up. I just want to write. That’s why there are no photos, etc. in this post, I’m just going to let my words do the talking this time.
The Tiredness: As I said up top, I’ve been thinking of ending Dining With Donald for about a year and a half. early in November I spent 10 days with Covid-19. Since then I don’t seem to have the energy to try and post on a regular basis. It’s time for me regroup and refocus.
Reason 4: The Food Systems are Broken
This is the biggest and most pressing reason for me to move on from Dining With Donald. The restaurant business as it has operated over the last few decades can’t carry on as it has. Eventually a new form will arise and if it happens in my lifetime, maybe I will write about that.
Beyond restaurants, however, the way we feed ourselves and each other is also broken. Over the last three and a half years, I’ve been working at Holy Trinity Anglican Church as Priest Missioner.
My main responsibility of that time has been the Lunchroom. We started off serving one day a week, and now serve on two days. The number of people needing food continues to grow, while with the after effects of Covid-19, our capacity to feed them has not.
A better food bank system is not the answer. We need a system that drastically reduces the need for food banks. We need to shift our view of food waste. Individual households create 30% of the waste, but receive 95% of the shaming.
Also, I don’t believe we need to necessarily dismantle capitalism. It is as the saying goes: “the worst system except for all of the others.” We do need to remodel it. Much like democracy, capitalism needs to be returned to the masses, rather than controlled by the corporate few.
Reading about food, and then writing about it, has always been a part of Dining with Donald. Lately, I’ve been reading more about food sovereignty and access to food. Going forward, I intend to do even more of that.
So, then end of Dining With Donald won’t be the end of me thinking and writing about food. My future writing will be more focused on things like public policy. Theology and food will still be a major focus.
- Aliens are Welcome at Thanksgiving Dinner
- Visits, Social Graces
- Food & Hospitality
- A Meal with Jesus
Dining With Donald Gives Thanks
This is the part where I give thanks to and for all the people who have made writing Dining With Donald enjoyable. Naturally, I want to thank anyone who has stopped and taken time to read any of my blog posts.
I want to thank all the members of the Manitoba Food Bloggers group on Facebook. I appreciate your likes and comments over the years.
In the early days of this blog, there were a lot of blogging get togethers. It was through these I got to know Shel Zolkewich, Susie Erjavec Parker, Rebecca Hadfield, Natalie Bell. Later there was Susan Ainley, Craig and Michelle Hologroski, and Liz Cook. Of course, I can’t forget Rob, aka Prairie Tweeter on Twitter, for his many, many, many, likes and retweets.
Then there are some of the food and beverage people I got to meet along the way: Chef Mo from Fusion Stop. Alexander Svenne and Danielle Carignan Svenne from several places. Ben Kramer, chef and caterer. Dave and Mike from Hildegard’s. Betsy from Cocoabeans. TJ and Graham from Thom Bargen, and Nils Vik from Parlour, who played a big part getting me started on my interest in good coffee. All the baristas, but especially the gang from Twist Cafe.
Two groups have been very important to me at various times. Both connect me to St. Margaret’s Anglican Church. The first is all the people connected with the Saturday Evening liturgy and meal. The second is the “Why Cook Wednesdays,” supper club. Interactions with these two groups formed the basis of several of my posts.
So, this is adieu from Dining With Donald, but no the last word Donald will speak on food. One thing to look for in the nearer future, are video reviews of the food books I am reading.
As the song says, “Have Yourselves a Merry Little Christmas.” See you, hopefully in person, in the New Year.