Food means more to me than almost anything in my life. The only thing I can think of that might trump it is love. I say this because I think if I had love, I could find a way to live with limited food. But if I had food, could I find a way to live with limited love? Can food and love really be separated? Or are they always connected?
These are the types of questions that came to my mind when I was watching The Meaning of Food, a PBS documentary series. I started to realize that, for me, the line between food and love is so blurry.
The documentary mentioned that food is one of the most intense forms of human connection. Like love, sometimes we have no words for food. I'm not talking about the speechlessness that results from going through the drive-thru at Taco Bell to grab a burrito that looks like diarrhea (although, ironically, I do love me some Taco Bell.) But I'm talking about the speechlessness that occurs when I'm sitting around the dining room table with my family, eating my uncle's homemade mashed potatoes or the Christmas roast beef my grandpa cooked down to a science. I'm talking about the speechlessness that occurs when I go home and my mom gives me a warm, delicious banana-chocolate chip muffin that came right out of the oven, just minutes before my arrival. I'm even talking about the times when I'm having a lousy day at school and my boyfriend brings me my guilty, depressing snacks from the gas station. No matter how I'm feeling, food seems to always give me the similar sense of calmness and security that love does.
Not only do I feel love from the food I receive, but sometimes the only way I can show my love is by giving food. If one of my relatives, friends, or boyfriend is having a bad day, the first thing I think of doing is giving them food. Whether it is cooking something special, or going to the grocery store to get them their favorite treat, food is always on my list of tactics. In times that words don't seem to solve the problem, I try with food.
On a different note, just like love can be exhausting at times, so can food. It takes work to create a lasting, unforgettable relationship. It also takes work to create a delicious, unforgettable meal. If we are lazy in our relationships, they eventually fall apart. If we are lazy with our diet, our bodies fall apart.
At the end of the day, I love food. And I love love.