Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Food musings

Today my friend Sharon said something on the phone that really seems to hold a great universal truth for our modern times. Anyone else out there who can relate?

"I used to think people couldn't discuss religion or politics. Now I see you can't discuss religion, politics, or food."

This is really true. I have observed it time and again. Like religion and politics, most people have PLENTY to say about the role that food plays in their lives, and the role it should play in everyone else's, but somehow it's a taboo subject. Sharon hypothesizes that when you begin discussing new food ideas with someone, depending on their vantage point, experiences, and beliefs, it can totally rock their world in a way that isn't comfortable. It's like opening a whole Pandora's box of possibilities that they hadn't thought of.

I have been discovering over the past year or so that food is the one subject on which absolutely everyone is an expert -- even if that means they just don't think food is that important (to their health, I mean). When it comes to diet, many of us act according to my personal definition of dietary insanity (borrowed partly from Einstein):

We think we can do exactly the same thing over and over again (i.e. eat junky over-processed nutritionally-depleted foods) and live to a ripe old age as a mainly healthy person.

Many of us are learning this is not the case -- though it doesn't usually occur to us that the substances passing our lips every day have anything to do with it. I really find this bizarre. If we gave our pets junk to eat and then watched them die, we would probably realize a connection. If we put something besides gasoline in our car engines we would know that we were headed for a big mechanical failure. But somehow we think we can live healthy lives on non-foods just because they are wrapped in packages and pushed on us by food manufacturers.

Okay -- enough said. Time for dinner! Ham with cabbage, potatoes, and plenty of raw cultured butter. Anyone want to join us? :)


  1. This is a great topic! Food is a hot-button issue, even though it is such a mundane, everyday thing. I think that it is scary for people (myself included) to consider the idea that we are harming ourselves everyday by eating certain foods. And you know that when people get scared, they get hostile! Well, hopefully I don't get hostile :) But I think that no one likes to be told "you're doing it wrong!" Who wants to fail at eating? ;)

  2. By the way, your dinner sounds delicious! Perfect for the season! I am waiting for my risotto to cook and getting kind of hungry...

  3. Exactly... no one wants to fail in eating or get told that they are doing it wrong (unless they are actively seeking advice- like I am lol)

    Food can be such a staple to our culture/traditions/habit that yeah, it really can be a delicate subject to touch upon- whether it involves someone's vow to abstain from meat and dairy, an insistance to continue buying white rice and other bleached products, or a diabetic grandmother who refuses to start giving up sweets at this point in her life (personal i.e. there w/ my late grandma), this is real touchy subject at hand!