A Note About This Feature: Why Wednesdays is a Move Eat Create weekly feature determined to turn the mid-week doldrums upside down and celebrate things I love to do and blog about. Currently, the focus is on food, cooking, and eating.
Food is serious business. As I’ve discussed over the course of this series, it impacts our health, our energy, our brains, our emotions, our bank accounts, and so on. It’s a need that every human being has in common, yet we all have our own unique relationships to it.
Food is also fraught with contradictions, making it a complex issue. For instance, consider how a meal made of just a few humble ingredients can taste so complex and flavorful. Or, how a $2.00 taco from a food truck can taste utterly rich with flavor, while a $30 pasta dish can be bland and dull if not prepared with attention. Think about how sitting down to a meal by yourself may feel lonely on certain days, but incredibly indulgent and peaceful on others. Also still, enjoying that same meal with loved ones can be a long-lasting memorable experience.
My point, of course, is that food is one of the most complex aspects of our lives and societies, but for some reason, we spend so much of our time treating it as if it is inconsequential. We shove it down without patience, swallow without tasting, purchase without reading labels, and toss it away without consideration. We may encounter food dozens of times throughout a single day, yet not spend more than a few seconds ever really thinking about it.
This has to change.
Fortunately, I think it’s starting to.
With a focus of late on obesity and food costs to start, people are starting to think about food on a deeper level. Advocates for local and sustainable food consumption and production are making some noise. Activists are fighting for clear and proper labeling on packaged foods. Governments are realizing that youth need help with intervention directly in schools. And people like us are being a bit more thoughtful.
As I’ve shared in prior posts, my relationship with food has morphed dramatically over my lifetime. I’m still not perfect, nor would I ever expect to be, but I do think that I have made great strides to not only be more sound in my food choices from both a health and social standpoint, but I’ve also made strides in enjoying it more. I used to think I was enjoying food, but really I didn’t even know what real food was. Fast food and processed packages just can’t hold a candle to ripe fruit, well seasoned vegetables, hearty muffins straight from the oven, or homemade bread.
Plus, I was so caught up in the blame game with food that it cast a gloomy cloud over every encounter I had with it. I was so busy telling myself I was bad for eating this or I’d eaten too much of that or I’d never look like so and so if I ate this, that all eating did for me was reinforce negative feelings and beliefs. Sadly, this is not unusual, especially for women (though I’m sure you guys have some of it, too), but it IS unacceptable. I don’t want to pass this habit onto future generations.
I did a quick Google search for an actual definition of food and here is what I got:
Noun; Any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.
Read that carefully, please. Any NUTRITIOUS substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain LIFE and GROWTH.
That says so much to me about where we need to head when it comes to our beliefs and actions around food in our country. Nutritious. Life. Growth. I’m going to remember those three key words and try to apply them in my own diet.
It only takes a minute to ask myself:
- Is what I’m about to eat going to be NUTRITIOUS to my overall diet?
- Will it help me maintain my own quality of LIFE (and of others involved in its production)?
- Will it help me continue to GROW in healthy ways?
If I can answer ‘yes’ to those three questions, I think I’ll be off to a fine start.
Previous Entries in This Series: