Today is Day Four into Redeeming the Table's Q&A series with the focus on food ideologies. I get excited about this stuff, much more than 'How' we eat or bake. I'm always driven by why we do the things we do in regards to food. The breath & spirit of food and how that translates into our relationships with self & others. I would love to hear your food ideologies as well.
Do you have a food ideology?
I like this question, because whether we realize it or not, we all hold a special ideology on food. You can read about why we eat the way we eat here, which helps shape my food ideology. Primarily though, I would say that I believe in eating food that requires preparation from a sustainable, reliable, & ethical source, holding to an 'eat with the seasons & locally' as much as I can ideology. Flavor is really important to me as well.
How does your food ideology pan out with meat proteins?
I find eating primal is very ethical. Our family buys grass-fed cattle, pork & pastured eggs from local farmers & friends. Health being a huge element in our family ethos, I want to ensure the meat sources are high in Omega-3's. Grass-fed & pastured animals supply this, which is counter to the “red meat causes cancer” schtick. It's all about what the animals are eating (grain versus grass). When we buy from a local farmer who practices grass-feeding, it is actually more environmentally sound than most assume. It's sustainable, ethical, & reliable.
How does your food ideology translate with fruits & vegetables, organic or not, in season or out?
Vegetables & fruit is the same. It's not necessarily about organic for me on this one. It's more about flavor, no spray & from a source I trust. I trust the crew at Joe's Garden, or some of my favorites at the Farmer's Market. I believe that restraining from buying strawberries the other 10 months out of the year, I'm practicing a sort of spiritual discipline. I wait for early June to hit for Whatcom County grown strawberries and pay the reward for that discipline.
I strongly believe it is the food, which makes a truly great cook or chef. Why eat an orange in summer and strawberries in the winter? Why not practice the art of eating with the seasons as much as possible, in order to train the taste buds, the soul, and the chef knife for fabulous eating? When I tell my girls we can't buy those cherries flown from Chile in winter, it's me translating two things. One, you'll thank me later even though it might appear I don't know what I'm talking about. Two, that we can't always get what we want, even if we can.
How does all this eating in season, locally, sustainability talk translate into your relationships?
Here's the thing...underlying all of my personal beliefs & convictions on food ideology, I've left out the most incremental part---PEOPLE. My relationships with others is superior to my convictions on food. Lucky that I'm married to a man who feels the same as me on this, which makes it easy to not be the awkward person at a dinner with friends or relatives. I believe food can be far too exclusive. It always has been, and always will be. I never want someone thinking, “We can't invite her over, because she has all these opinions on food.” No, no, no...it's sharing food, stories & hospitality that redeems our tables. Food should be a bridge builder, not a bridge destroyer. The table is about inclusivity, not exclusivity.
What are your food ideologies? How have you come to form them? What is your take on seasonality, locality and such terms?