A cure (almost) nobody wants

As we’ve written elsewhere, our vision of cohousing includes a shared kitchen and a practice of eating a meal together most days.

In our view, this is a feature, not a bug. It promotes community, ensures variety and eases the workload of making daily meals.

It is also the most-cited reason given by people who, having taken the time to consider our model, eventually come to reject it. They just can’t imagine sharing a kitchen.

Similarly, at the recent workshop on seniors housing organized by SE Health and Sidewalk Labs, only 14 percent of participants indicated a willingness to consider living in an arrangement with shared kitchen and living spaces (full disclosure: I was one of them); the vast majority insisted that a separate kitchen was essential.

And yet…

And yet, here it is again, this time in a recent article from the National Post, citing the well-established link between eating with others and health:

Many [experts in the field of senior health], including nutrition professor Catherine Morley, are applauding a section of Canada’s new food guide that encourages people to eat with others when possible…

…45 per cent of older adults admitted to hospital for a non-nutrition diagnosis were malnourished.


“It takes a village in a situation like this,” says Carol Greenwood, an emeritus at the University of Toronto in nutritional sciences and a senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute.
“Families are not tight-knit the way they used to be four generations ago when people moved a block away from one another.”

See full article

I find it baffling. A shared kitchen leads to better health and longevity, but most of us won’t consider it. I guess we’re just misfits here at Wine on the Porch.

3 thoughts on “A cure (almost) nobody wants”

  1. I could probably live with a shared kitchen, but I don’t want to be forced to eat together or at certain times. Actually, I’m not a big meal eater, or eater in general, I’m a grazer. I hate to be cheap, but I also don’t want to pay equally for food I don’t eat…

  2. Shared meals are wonderful. But I can imagine a larg number of scenarios when one would want a more ‘private’ meal without all your housemates. How would that work?

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