I am a believer in the extraordinary power of food. So much more than simply fuel for the human machine, food enables a transmission of culture, tradition, passion, joy, and emotion. Around the world there are infinite amounts of things to eat, ways to prepare them, manners of eating them, and reveling in their significance. Food has the ability to explain the past, as wars have been fought, religions created, and cultures and countries altered because of food. Literally a matter of life and death, at its barest form food provides calories to maintain a personal engine.
Expanded, what humans eat enables construction, continuation, and transmission of centuries of tradition and revelry. Food comes directly from the earth, and this should never be overlooked, especially in an age of technological advancement coupled with capitalist urges. A focus on fresh, seasonal, local ingredients results in a more cost-effective as well as far more pleasurable culinary experience. People everywhere live to eat, love to eat, and spend mass amounts of time thinking and talking about food when they are not actually eating. Families and societies revolve around food, and eating allows for connections that are so much larger than simply recounting the events of the day.
On a personal level, food can evoke intense memories and emotions, bringing someone back to the smells of grandma’s kitchen, particularly memorable experiences exploring or sedentary, alone or with friends and family, and life-changing events of all kinds. Everybody has a unique relationship with food, and it has the power to boost as well as destroy people of all types. It is incredible how individual diets and approaches to eating vary, and these should be studied enormously. The manner in which a Pro Bowl running back like Arian Foster can support the rigors of his body and occupation on a vegan diet offers a perfect example of how exploration and tinkering with tried and true methods can tailor the consumption of food to meet the needs of every person on earth. There are endless possibilities associated not only with the preparation and consumption of food but also with its place in a social and societal context. Above all else, however, are the facts of the matter: food tastes good, is fun to eat, and is a way to share the joy of life with others.