“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go”– Anthony Bourdain, Celebrity Chef
Mr. Bourdain rightly quoted not only the above statement but his entire life has been about the food documentation. It’s just not him or the other celebrity chefs, food bloggers, and food critics who have conditioned themselves on the exploration of this noun. You, me, and Shakespeare’s muse, the common men would subconsciously and relentlessly accept how physiologically cardinal, entertaining, cultured and lifestyle-oriented the concept of food is. A healthy relationship with food goes a long way, literally starting with experience.
Wonder what an infant thinks when he sees anything new?
Draws it into his mouth and guzzles it faux pas as food.
Everything in nature is food to something or the other. Narrowing down the diverse prospects of food to ‘effective medicine that not only holds life together but is candy when shared with others I can only envision Mad Hatter’s wonderful Tea Party operational without any societal norms.
A life without good food is a life without memories. Food compliments so many other things in daily life, right from employing a human, a reader with his books in a cozy cafe, lunch or dinner date, Netflix and chilling, anniversaries and birthdays, ceremonials, and surprises, period cramps to the first break mourning period.
So, how much food is too much food?
The answer to this question is as invalid as the question itself. Health issues can hinder one’s desire to eat wholeheartedly but there is always a healthy alternative in such a case. Calorie quotient and gym instructors can also interfere with your cheesy food relationship and then, you recall your Constitutional rights.
Threat to Nationalism
Food can also pose a threat to nationalism, sometimes. Then, it is recommended to revise the meaning of nationalism which is respecting the nation’s identity which is again culture-fluid.
In other words, food is a way of appreciating different facades of nationalism, an extended range of nationalist feelings. Eat a cake, the choice is yours, eggless or with egg, just a slice or a whole, with your hands or a fork, at your birthday or someone else’s, because it is an orientation of how heaven tastes like.
The world is an ethnic garden and it bears varied trees of ethnic foods. It is such a delight to watch Mukbang videos by people of different ethnic groups trying a different ethnic cuisine just because they are unfamiliar and interested to try new styles of food and cooking.
Suppose you are an Indian, and your go-to favorite cuisine is Mexican tacos or Italian Pizza, French Seafood, American Hamburger, Indonesian Satay, Chinese Dumplings, Korean Kimchi to any international or continental platter but your staple all-time comfort food will only be dal and rice with a vegetarian spice or earthy meaty masala side-dish. This is not me stating for the article’s sake rather my Indian self confessing. Food releases the aroma of your ethnicity.
Your Food History
They say “you are what you eat” and I totally agree with this because I am a patty squeezed by stress and clumsiness from either side.
As you grow up, some of your food habits stick by while others get replaced like, as a kid, you would have lived by non-spicy delicacies but as you grow in cell number, a dish without a medium to mildly high spice factor becomes boring to your taste buds. This is because; our taste buds acquire a tolerance for different ranges of hot and cold sensations.
On the contrary, some people turn out to be a sweet tooth and others not, some prefer plants only (vegetarians), some of them prefer both leaves and meat (non-vegetarians) and a section of people choose to consume or use food items or by-products free of any animal content or product (vegans). All these together make up one’s food history. Your food history is also responsible for your health history. So, it is recommendable to make the right food choices with nutritional value to stay fit and feel good.
Your Food ‘Type’
“Where you are from?” is also an important question in the context of food. Depending on your domicile, your food culture, regional produces, and how you typically cook it, is your province.
Different regions grow a different kinds of foods due to the climatic variations so regionally too, food adds up to your unique resume. You carry your ‘type’ of food everywhere. Remember leaving home to a new place with boxes and bottles of homemade every time because that food is indispensable. It is your memoir, one of your reasons to go back home to your tribe. The character of your food is your tribe continued till you cease.
Grandmas and their grandmas to infinite grandmas in your family tree are responsible for your food habits. The food recipes carried down the generations only get better and tastier because more laughter, more memories, and more lives add to it along the way.
A dish cooked with a heart full of love is what your grandma taught your mom and you. And this is how food must be looked upon; irrespective of any gender who prepares it for the occasion it is served at is where paradise is found.
The food we consume reflects our relationship with the organisms in the food chain. It is an interdependent cycle of what, how, and why do we eat. Another word for ‘food’ is nourishment.
Food is thus, anything edible that repairs your body, enhances growth, and makes you active. And remember to cherish the food you eat, unless it is something your grandma would not recommend. Always, rhyme your food with the mood you are in.
“1 in every 9 people go to bed hungry, and about 20 million others are at the risk of famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria”– Mercy Corps
N.B: Avoid wastage of food.