In Defense of Food
I’ve been reading a lot lately, mostly because I figured the more I read, the better I’d write. Most of the books I read pertain to food, chefs, or agriculture. Right now I’m reading a book called, “In Defense of Food,” by Michael Pollan. Within the first chapter, I was moved by something he wrote, which I found to be true.
We forget that, historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity. As long as humans have been taking meals together, eating has been as much about culture as it has been about biology.
I find this passage in his book to be beautiful. These are the exact reasons why I started cooking in the first place. To recap in my first post about how my mother inspired me to cook, not because she loved to do it, but because of the way she encouraged my sister and I to share the food we cooked with our friends, family, and neighbors. She became a symbol of the type of chef I wanted to be. The chef I will become.
Amongst the many things humans have in common, food has become my most favored. The joy we get as a society with eating and drinking not only for necessity, but for entertainment is such a wonderful gift. Food has and will always be an intimate thing throughout many communities and cultures. The language of food is universal and it is amazing how much it can bring so many people together despite our differences. Like Michael Pollan said, it’s “about expressing our identity.”
With food and cooking I’ve been able to express who I was, who I am, and who I will become, my feelings, and whatever goes on in this crazy head of mine. It’s put me in another world only I can understand. It’s given me something to appreciate because there is nothing that I’ve ever felt so passionate, inspired, and in love with in my entire life. It’s consumed me; every breath, taste, touch, sight, and sound. Food has become something I lust for. Something I consistently crave. It’s learned to define me.
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