I love food. Some people eat just because they have to. For me, food is a hobbie. I love to eat and try new foods and cook new recipes as well as perfect old ones. When I was kid and my mom tried to introduce me to new foods, she would always tell me, "you have to at least try one bite; it you don't like it, you don't have to eat any more". That has been a motto I have carried throughout my entire life.
As an adult who has been cooking for myself for the last 11 years now, I have experienced my own food revelations. My husband and I both grew up in simple, meat-and-potatoes type homes where the food was good but nothing culinarily special (no offense, Moms!). But a couple years ago, we began researching where our food comes from. We ran into a documentary movie entitled, Food Inc. Very provocative and thought-provoking. It became a major turning point in my life...how I view the food I eat and how that food influences the rest of my life.
From then on, we bought organic whenever we possibly could and gradually cut out beef, poultry, and pork from our diets over a period of about a year. We still eat fish and other seafood so technically, we're called pesca-vegetarians I think. Its not just about eating healthier, although that is part of it, but its also the treatment of the animals that get eaten, where the food comes from (including produce),and the bigger picture is how all of that effects our local environments and the greater world we live in. When Americans are the fattest they've ever been and diabetes and heart disease and food allergies are running rampant, especially among our children, its time to take a second, third, and fourth look at what we're eating.
This summer I discovered the local farmers' markets and fell in love! Its so exciting! Theres so much cool stuff there, a lot of which you can't find just anywhere, and you never know what you're going to get! The thing that stuck out to me the most when I started going to the farmers' markets was the aromas of the produce. Yes, you can actually smell the peaches and the tomatoes and the peppers. When you go to the grocery store, you can't smell any of the produce. Do you know why?? Because when it leaves the farm it sits in warehouses for months before it ever reaches the store and then can sit on the shelves for weeks before it gets to your table. By the time you eat it, almost all the flavors have been sucked out. And you wonder why you can't get kids to eat their veggies!! I wouldn't eat those veggies either!
Famous gastronome, Jean Brillat-Savarin, once said, "tell me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are." This really hit home for me. And in the words of another maybe not-so-famous gastronome from the movie Ratatouille, Remy said, "if you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff."
Great words to live by. I know I plan to.