I cook. You're absolutely right when you say that every culture has got its synergies when it comes to spices and herbs. I am a great believer in proper food - and it doesn't take two hours to cook a meal. I cook lunch and dinner every day for my kids, and I work, it takes 20 to 30 minutes. I don't harvest my greens as I live in the city. But it can be done. This is just that you don't get put off!
I am also fascinated by the way very similar dishes pop up in different cultures: most tradtional dishes are variations on a theme, adapted to use local ingredients.
Better not get started on food here.(I read food books like p 0 r n!)