Friday, May 4, 2012

What’s the big deal about food anyway?

Have you ever thought about what food meant to you? Why do you the types of foods you eat? Do you eat at certain times, places, with certain people?

Watching The Meaning of Food opened my eyes to how much more food can give to us, and it’s amazing how food can become so much more than just nourishment for your body. It can become a form of comfort, where just a small bite of anything can remind you of home, a friend, or a special moment. It can also create conversation where communication can be built from going grocery shopping or the coming together for a big feast. In addition, the foods people eat can indicate their values and history. So if I told you one of my favorite dishes my mom prepares is arroz con pollo, you can assume that I have a Hispanic background.

So why is it that many connections can be made to human beings but the value of the animal/living thing is rarely taken into account? How did we get to the point where we have become so disconnected with our food that many of us have no idea where it came from? One thing that helps to contribute to our lack of knowledge is our food industries. We have food industries that raise and slaughter their animals inhumanely, that a simple burger of yours can be made up of many cows.  Is it worth it? Is your health and environment worth having just a few industries that provide your meat (which is not the best quality whatsoever)? From what I have grasped this past week buying local can alter the picture of the future; for me, the animal, and the environment. It can provide you with food of higher quality and make you healthier, all while the animals are in good conditions. Does genetically modified food sound that appetizing anyway?

So how important is our food? The big deal about food is that what you and I eat can have an effect on everything and everyone around us.

Find a local farmers' market near you! It can make a difference in the future. 


  1. When watching The Meaning of Food, I had some of the same thoughts. I loved seeing the traditions of so many different ethnic groups and religions. It made me a little disappointed that I can't think of any similar traditions that my family has. I mean, sure, we always have chicken and noodles on Thanksgiving and strawberry pretzel jello on Easter, but that doesn't have the same depth that the Makahs' whaling tradition had or that the Indian fertility ritual had. If I had grown up with such traditions, how would I view food differently? And would I only feel that way about certain foods, or food in general? I would love to learn more about these traditions to explore what effect they might have.

  2. I really like the idea of certain foods reminding us of home, or of a certain feeling. One sense can create that feeling: the smell of a flower, the feel of a fabric, the taste or sight of a certain food, and even the sound of something. Food goes beyond taste and incorporates all of the senses into one and creates an even more complex, and powerful, sense memory.