I think food is beautiful, don't you?
This is an appreciation piece dedicated to food. All food in general, but more specifically naturally occurring foods. I think it’s beneficial to appreciate the food you eat. You can read more about My Food Philosophy here.
I’ve been thinking about the beauty of food lately. Especially plants.
Fruit, of course, is the most beautiful in my opinion. So many wonderful colours, textures, and smells. And the taste! What is better than a fresh Ontario peach or strawberry in the summer? Or a pear from my sister’s orchard? And that’s just our region, where it’s cold half the year. Around the world there are many beautiful and exotic fruits I've probably never heard of.
Vegetables are pretty cool too. Not only are they delicious, but they have so many nutrients and benefits for our health. And they are part of nature- how cool is that?
Those are all things we eat in their original form (more or less.) But think about all the plants that produce ingredients for us.
Did you know chocolate starts like this? I bet you did not! (Unless you also watched Down to Earth with Zac Efron)
And cinnamon actually grows as a tree! WHAT? Yup. Real cinnamon sticks are actually the bark from cinnamon trees. Now you know. Cinnamon is delicious! It’s a main ingredient in one of my favourite baked goods- cinnamon buns.
Speaking of cinnamon buns... grains are pretty neat too. Who decided to harvest rice or quinoa or oats and then cook them in water to see what would happen? I bet they were happy when they did.
And who decided to blend a bunch of peanuts together and spread it on toast? Whoever you are, I am thankful for you.
Do you get what I’m saying? I am amazed at all the food that is produced from the earth.
Don’t think I forgot about animals! Steak, salmon, eggs and chicken all taste amazing, despite the fact that the animals themselves are kind of funny looking. I mean....
I also think it’s pretty amazing what we can make by combining some of these foods. Imagine a steak dinner. You’ve got a slab of meat from a cow, some potatoes mixed with olive oil (which is pressed from olives) and some spices that were originally plants, and any number of greens and vegetables grown in the earth. Top it all off with a chocolate dessert and you’ve got yourself a fine dining experience!
Baking is a whole different level. More like a science. Mix a little of this with a little of that, add just the right temperature and tada! You’ve got a masterpiece.
Anyway, you might think this blog post is a little wonky- and maybe it is- but the whole point is to get you to think about the food you eat. Think about where it came from, what it does for you, and be grateful for it. This is one way to increase mindfulness in eating, which is said to improve health and eating habits. If you think about where your food came from, and practice gratitude for it, you’ll be more likely to choose real foods. Likewise, if you buy your food locally, you’ll develop a connection to where it came from, making it easier to be grateful and mindful about eating it.
Even for someone like myself who claims to love food and cooking, I know surprisingly little about where food comes from or how it is grown. For example, this week I learned that water chestnuts actually grow in the water and hearts of palm are the inside of palm trees. That is so cool! Who in the world figured out these things are edible? In today’s society if you didn’t get it at the grocery store or a restaurant it doesn’t register as food.
So, my challenge for you is to become more aware of where your food comes from. Ask yourself “how do pomegranates grow?” (on trees) “How do French fries grow?” (trick question.) Maybe try a new fruit or vegetable or grain this week! Get excited about REAL food. And let me know what you discover!