After a brief hiatus and sabbatical of sorts I have returned with a refreshed perspective, reality, and especially a more focused appreciation for the potential the experience of food holds. This is the first of many inspired posts I’ll share rooted in that adventure relating to sustainability, food, or culture.
Food is one of the most personal things in our world, it is quite literally what keeps us alive. So if this is most certainly the case, how is that we’ve become so disconnected from the experience and place such little value on what we put in our bodies for nourishment.
I’d like to pause and be completely honest and transparent, I’m neither a strict practitioner nor advocate for a raw only non-processed diet. As a chef that would be completely contradictory to the drive of creativity you can exert with food. Instead what I do advocate is taking a long hard look at what you’re eating and why!
While spending time at the Mediterranean Agrinomic Institute of Chania in Crete, I had the pleasure to meet and learn from Chef Yannis Apostolakis. A gracious and passionate as anyone I’ve seen in a kitchen, he was quick to share his passion for food and wisdom on life, including the title of this post which continues to resonate deeply.
We invest in assets in all aspects of our life, with the ultimate goal of building some form of security or equity by doing so, looking to add value to our lives. Our greatest asset as a result seems to have fallen by the wayside, our bodies. After venturing abroad recently to Greece, the Mediterranean diet now holds more weight than just another diet that will make you slim and happier through what you eat.
I experienced this diet, and as the residents to this region will gladly tell you the food is great, but the investment goes beyond what’s on your plate. The value at the table is placed not in a monetary form on the dishes your consume, while absolutely exquisite it acts as a facilitator to bring people together. The experience of food is genuinely about engaging conversation and breaking bread in the company of others.
Experiencing food should not be a chore, or simply a routine of sustenance.
It doesn’t have to be inconvenient, or prioritized just matter again. If stubbed your toe would you kick the same curb again? No so why do we remain in the cycle of eating things that make us feel bad and offer discounted nutritional value? Take a step back and think about the last time you ate a meal and felt satisfied, content and fully nourished. This is the ultimate goal of experiencing food, you enjoy the taste, you feel good after you consume it, and it can even be something you’re proud to share.
Our culture is coming to a crossroads with focus being placed on GMOs , organic certification as superior branding, along with yields and aesthetics signifying success and quality. With health problems still on the rise, we need to turn our focus back to the root of food literally, where does it come from and how do we consume it. Do we know how to cook without a microwave or is it so inconvenient it’s permanently passé?
I challenge us to take pride again in what we eat, and where it comes from!
That’s not to say you’re not to indulge every once in a while, in fact these indulgences will be that much more enjoyable as a treat. Next time you’re thinking convenience think beyond the moment and experience your food again, making an investment.