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, 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.
See full article
“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.”
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.