In Defense of Food

For my first personal blog post in over a month (Thanks again to those who covered April for me), I wanted to cover a very important topic.

So, let’s talk about how great food is.

For those who know me, I don’t eat a particularly large amount of food in a sitting. I don’t really snack too much. I’m actually quite picky, getting me to eat vegetables is a friggin’ chore. However, I appreciate well crafted, well cooked food. I appreciate the appreciation of delicious food. Food is very important to me. I love making it, I love eating it, and I love watching it be made.

There’s an art in food. From lowly dive bars with the best fries in town to high-end gourmet places pumping out culinary masterpieces, food requires passion. It’s enjoyable to construct, consume and critique. Eating is in itself an exploratory adventure. Good looking food can taste bad, awful looking food can be (and often is) some of the most delicious and satisfying, but you’ll never know until you take that first bold mouthful. Each bite we take is like hearkening back to our ancestors: Ancient neanderthals who first discovered the spice of peppers, the energizing nature of coffee, or “hey, these weird grey things grow on poop! Wonder what they taste like?”

This may seem like an excessive view of food, probably because it is. I know I’m not necessarily alone in this view (otherwise Food Network wouldn’t be a thing, also OMG YOU GUYS FOOD NETWORK), but I understand that foodieness is definitely an odd view for some. I also recognize that having this outlook toward food is only possible thanks to my lot in life, living where I do and having access and means to experience different types of food. I am thankful that I have this capability and understand that not everyone is so lucky. On that note, please take an opportunity to check out Feeding America or ACF International.

Food in my opinion is a great equalizer, much like Music. We all need it. We all desire it. It’s visceral, in a sense, and connects to our deepest level of primitive need. A last tingling connection to our animal past. Taking this frothing, primordial need and making art from it is absolute beauty. The pinnacle of human advancement to grasp something so simplistic and bacon-wrap it in human passion and creativity. Think of it this way: you’re a farmer. One day, you come out to the barn to find one of your cows has made a sculpture of you out of her hay. She then proceeds to eat it. Aside from the obvious thought of “holy shit this cow wants to kill me, bruh” you would also be drastically amazed not only that the cow would be able to make a sculpture but that it would choose to do so with its food. Humans do this DAILY. We sculpt and build. We craft and improve. We strive to make the act of eating a delight for all senses.

And this isn’t limited to designer restaurant concepts or pretentious young professionals in their metropolitan lofts. Think of it, everyone has a relative who makes the best _______. Just on a familial level we strive to achieve a pinnacle in food. We do so because it makes the people we love smile. My Grandma makes delicious donuts. My Mom makes extraordinary Chicken and Dumplings. My Father makes a Jelly Roll that I could Easily eat in a sitting (and have). The concept of COMFORT food exists because our souls are warmed by food, specifically that which we attach to happy points in our lives. Family, friends, childhood. As people, even just casually cooking for one another is an act in sharing our love and making one another happier, even just by a small amount.

I guess this entirely rambling post comes out of the fact that a) I didn’t have anything for breakfast today (need to hit the grocery) and b) I’ve had friends in my life who sacrifice food for various reasons, mainly weight and health. They will admit that they are replacing every meal with stuff they don’t care for. Stuff that doesn’t excite them. Plain rice. Boring salads. Now this isn’t a complaint against eating healthy. This is an argument against eating boring. Fun, exciting food doesn’t have to be bad for you. There are plenty of healthy options for the avid dieter. I support healthy eating, whether it’s for a diet or deciding to go vegan or whatever it may be. But don’t sacrifice that passion and art just to shed some pounds. Food should never be boring. Dine with gusto!

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s lunch time.


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