Thursday, January 10, 2013

Food as a flashpoint

To many people, food becomes a battlefield.  Is it organic? Is it local? Is it vegan? If it's meat, is it grass-fed? Free range? Low fat? Low carb? Atkins? Paleo-diet?

To some people, food is medicine.  To others, it's a sign of someone's morality or health. It does seem to be quite a battlefield to some folks.

I am here to tell you: Food isn't a battlefield.  It should not be a battlefield.

To me, food is joy.  Food is a symbol of hospitality. Of friends and family gathering. Of sociability. I'm not going to complain if a guest is vegan or vegetarian, kosher or halal, or cannot physically digest things like wheat or dairy, or if they're diabetic and I need to be careful about carbs and sugar. I'll just serve them things they can eat and enjoy their company. (Just make sure I know about your food restrictions beforehand.)

Maybe it's because I didn't like anything as a kid--I'll pretty much try anything now (as long as it isn't a small bug.  A large sea roach, like lobster, is a-okay with me, though). I will not look down on pork rinds (I had them for the first time in Thailand of all places AND OH MY STARS THEY ARE DELICIOUS). I won't look down on vegetarian/vegan meals (look, we all need to eat our vegetables, and a lot of those dishes are quite tasty).  I will not look down on tofu (which, once I had it prepared properly, was delicious).  I will not look down on things like black-bean brownies, which actually have a rich and sweet flavor.

I also won't look down on anyone who won't eat certain things for whatever reason.  (Just don't look down on me for eating them.)  Kosher or halal? Cool.  MORE BACON FOR ME. (I did seriously ask for and got bacon for my birthday once when I was a kid.) Vegetarian or vegan? Fantastic! I can make vegetarian cassoulet or ratatouille.  Locavore? Hey, have I got some home-grown squash for you.

What is food to you?


  1. Food is community. Food is sharing. Food is more than just nourishment for our bodies.

  2. Black bean brownies sound AWESOME! Also, I really like April's comment! :)

    I like cooking new things for me and The Boyfriend. Food is both nourishment and entertainment to me, and definitely meant for sharing!

  3. I love cooking. Hubby will eat most things but daughter is a nightmare to feed. Complains about everything unless its a chicken burger, plain pasta, pizza, or chicken nugget wraps. Needless to say she doesn't get them very often. She also likes raw veg over cooked veg.
    I once put an empty plate on the table (her dinner was in the kitchen) and she still managed to complain.