Nothing unites like food. Nothing.
The smells, the tastes, the memories. It has a power much larger than we can comprehend with our taste buds, our sense of smell, our sense of touch. It envelops us at such a deep level that it oftentimes goes unnoticed. Unappreciated. It’s like the presence of a loved one that we take for granted until it’s gone.
So what would happen if we brought this level of awareness back to the table?
To know that food unifies. It unifies the self. It unifies us to others. It unifies us to the past through food traditions past down from generation to generation. And it provides a tie to the future. To the generations to come. For a more sustainable food system. To repaired relationships with food.
I know this can sound far-fetched and ‘woo woo’. But food smells are inextricably linked to our emotions and memories. A memory of your grandmother’s food inevitably brings emotion into your body. Just try to remain impartial while thinking about it.
That. That right there is the power of food. Not a force of guilt, shame, and anxiety. Like anything good we can turn it on it’s head and magnify the inverse traits. But at it’s truest and purest form it’s good, love, beauty, connection.
The town of Amatrice, Italy was just devastated by an earthquake. This town gave us the beautiful dish of pasta all’Amatriciana, a beautiful union of pasta, tomatoes, guanciale (pork cheek) and sometimes a drizzle of spicy pepperoncini oil. The world has rallied around this small town to provide aid and unity through food. Numerous restaurants are placing this dish on their menu and sending a portion of the proceeds to the Italian Red Cross to support the rebuilding of this town. So that they may rise again through the devastation and tears and again come around the table and the beautiful meal they have gifted to the rest of the world.
Every town has a food story. And it usually begins at home, with family, with simplicity. Every food eater has a food story. But like any story it can be rewritten.
What is your food story? The first step in a healthy relationship with food is knowledge and understanding what your current story is. There’s such a grace and beauty in watching my clients understand their food story, embrace it in its current form, and begin to write the next chapter. So let’s start yours.