Daily Archives: January 21, 2009

How Do You View Food?

fennel & orange salad
Is food comfort to you? Is it a way of nourishing you? Is food art to you? Do you relish in stockpiling what you grow? Do you play at being frugal in how you feed your family? Has food become your outlet in fighting the world’s ills? Chances are you might consider all of these things when you think of food. But have you ever thought of food as medicine?

For as long as I remember, I’ve had an interest in food. As the years progressed so has my interest. My interest in food and eating took a rapid step up after spending time in Italy. How can half a year there not change your interest in food, really? To me, at that point, it was mostly about taste. And about community. And interests of growing food started to take a higher interest. I would spend my quiet days between art classes walking through our University’s Urban Farm thinking and dreaming of a future that I luckily live today. I started taking cooking classes and would attempt to translate Italian cookbooks into evening meals.

waiting for dinner with a gin & tonic…the ultimate health beverage…right?

During my single days in Larkspur, I lived over a French restaurant. While the sounds and smells of french dining filtered up into my windows I set out to perfect the perfect pork chop and apple tart. I had no real interest in viewing food as a way to save money (although I was always near broke at the time), or a way to save the world. I thought it neat to buy things local from the farmers market, but I didn’t make it priority. I didn’t even have so much as a window sill to grow things, so growing food was just a hope for the future. I just wanted things to taste good. I knew nothing about pasture fed animals and ‘free-range’ turkeys seemed like an outrageously expensive indulgence.

Then I met Scott and my simple interest in food was dwarfed by his devoted passion for it. Little did I know that he was busy cooking down in that same French restaurant. He already had a thriving vegetable garden and would shower me with homegrown succulent fare. But again, for us it was all about the freshest, best tasting food we could find and grow. And sharing food with others was always an important element.

Fast forward to just over a year ago. At that point, I had just read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food and we realized that pasture fed, free range animals weren’t a frivolous thing to eat, but they were important to our health. We learned that buying our produce local and seasonally wasn’t just a ‘neat’ thing to do, but that it made such a difference in our world’s future when we didn’t. So food became a little bit more about health as well as a bit more about foods impact for our environment.

My poor baby has asthma!
the evil (yet helpful) asthma medication
At the same time our oldest son at age 3 was diagnosed with asthma. I don’t know if your children have asthma or if you know anyone with childhood asthma, but it is a scary thing to face as a parent. We were faced with having to give him regular inhilations of steroids through this very intimidating face mask. He would cry bloody murder out of fear of that mask anytime we approached him with it. Which only made me even more unsettled about what we had to go through. So I did as any mom searching for a better solution would do and I ordered the book, Natural Relief for Your Child’s Asthma: A Guide to Controlling Symptoms & Reducing Your Child’s Dependence on Drugs. And that made me think about food in an entirely new light. Food really could heal you. We’ve made small changes in his diet and environment that have helped control his asthma enough that we’ve been off the daily Flovent since the beginning of last summer.

You may remember my post on raw milk last month. That post was inspired by my recent reading as well as the reading I’ve done about asthma, allergies and excema. I’ve been doing some additional reading that talks about food as medicine which I can’t wait to share. But before I do, what is your take on food? How do you view food? If thinking about this provides enough fodder for your own blog post, add your link to the comments and I’ll add your link up here so we can all read it.


Filed under books, Musings