Sunday, June 28, 2009

food from the heart

This belief seems so intrinsic to me that I hardly know what to write: love feeds us, and putting love into the preparation and cooking of our food nourishes us in a way that is greater than the nutrients of the ingredients.

Connecting with those around me I know others of like minds. Yet I am constantly surprised when observing others who dont have the same central belief: that we take on the essence of what we intake. Take in food prepared with love for a happy loving life. Take in food prepared in angst and without feeling to deliver the result of the same hurried and angry approach to the world.

This belief is one very good reason that I don't eat take away or prepared foods, and avoid those packaged foods on supermarket shelves. I like to cook from scratch and feed those close to me with not only the nutrients of the food, but to nourish them with love. A great honour, is always to be invited into someone else's home, to be allowed into their sanctuary, and to be honoured with the labour of their time and love in their cooking, and as their guest. I do very much like to eat in quality establishments, restuarants where quality produce is chosen, where food is treated with reverence, and crafted in a way that is not possible at home in my day to day cooking.

Food should be treated with respect, in not only preparation and cooking but also in the eating. This means stopping other tasks, taking time to sit with family and friends, and to eat slowly, deliberately, with recognition of the purpose.

I shake my head in dismay when I see people eating as they walk down the street, on transport, while doing other tasks, and all the time their bodies are not recognising that they are accepting food. So many challenges arise from this approach: a trilogy of health, emotional and spiritual issues.

Smell. Look. Taste. Savour. Enjoy.

2 comments:

  1. Ah the body mind and spirit - three of my favourite things all rolled up and dipped in dark chocolate :) Lovely post. On an off day my food never tastes as good. In fact I make it a rule to avoid cooking at any cost if I feel angry.

    But sometimes you can have take-away food cooked with love. Until recently we had a lovely Chinese family running a little noodle shop up the road. Everything was freshly cooked, no MSG, cooked before you in one wok. I'd talk with the mother about food sometimes and if the shop was quiet she'd grab me unfamiliar ingredients to taste from the kitchen or share her simple recipes of the food she cooked for her family. I miss them! That food was cooked with love too.

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  2. I work in the food industry and this week I've been interviewing prospective employees for a food shop. One thing that came to me during these interviews was that people who seem to care about food all have one thing in common: they all grew up eating food that their parents cooked from scratch. While it might seem that I'm agreeing with you, I'm not and I'll tell you why.
    Food is there to be eaten, it's fuel, it keeps us alive. Those people who I interviewed this week look at good food as being the starting position, not some kind of spiritual position.
    We're not French, Italian or Thai, we don't have the same culture and no amount of middle class hand wringing will make it so. What infuriates me about uk food blogging is the assumption that if only everyone shopped at waitrose and borough market we'dd all be ok. Take a look around Glasgow or plymouth some time.

    Recently I read a post by bellaphon in which he alluded to reading the socialist worker in a booth at a fancy steak joint. Bellaphon as far as I can assertain has been to private school and owns a four thousand pound camera, hardly the voice of the proletariat. This kind of posturing makes me want to spit nails.

    I believe very strongly that the UK food writing 'scene' needs a rocket up its arse. There is a huge discrepancy, for example, between cookery book sales and the amount of time people actually spend cooking.

    Your quote above beginning 'this belief' and ending 'supermarket shelves' is narcissistic in the extreme. Good for you Becca. This simply isn't an option for most people. Don't you dare say: 'oh but it could be if only they...' what gives you the right to patronise anyone? And oh how lucky you are that you can eat in 'quality restaurants'

    I count myself lucky, very lucky when I eat at 'cafe anglais' on my Birthday. I strongly suggest you go back and re-read your post and try and imagine that you live on a council estate with your 2 children 3 and 6, you do some part time work as a hairdresser, you would no sooner read 'the observer food monthly' than put your head in a gas oven, you don't drive and the nearest supermarket is an Iceland. Sushi is not on your lunchtime menu is it?

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