Wednesday, December 10, 2014
In my last post I mentioned the topic of science which has come to be my inspiration for food (theory) as of late. I remember in high school, I had a teacher who apparently majored in something food/cuisine related. Taking her food skills class, I was surprised to note how much chemistry and biology went into the study of food. I thought food skills was supposed to be a blow off class! However, as I age, I have come to realize that we can't escape the strong link between what we put in our bodies and our body's development. From medicine to botany, taxonomy to environmental science, food can be placed at the nexus of scientific study if you choose to view it that way. And, in general, our approach to food can come from a host of various perspectives. In society, our approach to food generally comes from the framework of taste. We constantly read in the New York Times how a new chef is combining flavor profiles in new and exciting ways. However, I began to write this blog as my own paradigm began to shift from flavor to health and how "food" can be applied as a tool for our bodies.
As food provides our body with nutrients we need to keep going, I believe we have a responsibility to consider the natural world where food comes from. In science class (see last post), students are learning about communities, ecosystems and food chains. Within various food chains, the fact exists that there are primary, secondary and tertiary consumers. At the bottom of the food chain tend to be green plants while a primary consumer might be a grasshopper, a secondary consumer a frog and so on. In learning (again) about the food chain, I began to consider our role as humans and the choices we make. Many say that humans are kings of the food chain and that's true. However, it seems to me that eating at the top of the food chain (i.e. eating animals which eat other animals) simply prevents our access to the foods with the most nutrients such as green, leafy vegetables. As Michael Pollan said in Food Rules, "eat food, not too much, mostly plants." In general, this is what essentially gets corrupted after being processed through animals at the primary levels etc. Instead of eating all those animals, we have the choice to go straight to the source. Food for thought.