Monday, August 22, 2011

My Food Culture

Inspired by many friends and lunch time conversations, I decided to finally read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  Like me, Barbara decided to live via experimentation and break out of her food comfort zone.  Her commitment is to eat foods grown locally and seasonally by real people, including her own family on her new farm in Virginia.

I’ve read a few chapters and already experienced some strong personal connections.  On page 17 she writes, “…we’re looking hard for a food culture of our own.  A profit-driven food industry has exploded and nutritionally bankrupted our caloric supply, and we long for a Food Leviticus to save us from the sinful roil of cheap fats and carbs.”  I relate to this perspective because I do feel like I’m yearning for a healthy food culture.  There are so many things I try to avoid (processed foods, fast food, simple sugars, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) that it takes work to cook real food that is wholesome and nutrient-rich.  She adds that fad diets have “helped us form powerfully negative associations with the very act of eating.”  My reaction is to declare my own personal food culture.  This culture I will create at home, offer to friends and family and value as an important part of my life, finances and energy.
Nicole’s Food Culture
● Food and eating are for pleasure, for nourishment and for building community.
● I eat a diet based on fresh and whole foods, mainly fruits and vegetables.
● I eat slowly to savor each bite and stimulate healthy digestion.
● I avoid highly processed foods, high fructose corn syrup and mystery ingredients.
● I use spices and herbs to enhance flavor and promote health.
● I value the time spent eating with family and friends over a beautiful table.

As I continue reading and learning about my country’s food industry and the challenges of farming, I feel my awareness expanding.  I'm looking at food labels, not at calories or carbs, but at ingredient lists and investigating where the product was produced.  I'm initiating conversations with friends and community members about these topics and developing my food culture.  I'm cooking dinner for a friend tonight.  It's the perfect opportunity to share my culture and enjoy it's delicious fruits.


  1. Bravo! Let there be more grilled pizza with farm fresh eggs in your food culture too! :)