I had an interesting thought yesterday about food. I think it's because of the book I got in the mail yesterday, The Vegetarian Myth. We have lost cooking as a skill-set in our culture. We have become a society of adults that don't know where our food comes from, how it is made, or even what is in it. It's almost like we have all been infantilized by the food industry, like we are still babies being fed by a big hand without any knowledge of the food itself. Just open your mouth and take it in.
How many people do you know that say they are too busy to cook? How many people do you know that cook meals for their family every day that involve more than heating up a frozen entree? How many of you don't know how to cook a pork chop or a steak or a loaf of bread from scratch? How many of you know how to deglaze a pan?
I spent 20 years as a vegetarian and it kept me from accepting some basic ADULT truths about the nature of life and food. We kill things and eat them. It's much harder to accept that and have reverence for the life that ends to keep your going when you are hiding under a rock and ignoring the true nature of the food in front of you - the blood and tendons and muscles and organs, etc. When you don't cook your own food, it's much easier to be "grossed out" by meat because you can pretend it's not the blood and muscles that it is. It comes to your table from the restaurant kitchen covered in sauce and breadcrumbs and cooked till it doesn't resemble anything close to a dead animal. Babies...we are just a bunch of babies that can't handle the truth about the food chain.
Anyway, I was a vegetarian for a long time so in the last couple of years I have had to learn how to cook meat. The process of learning how to cook is a big part of what changed my relationship to food FOR GOOD. It's led to more moments of satisfaction and joy than I can recall. It's the same feeling I had when I stopped paying someone to clean my house and started taking pride in doing it myself. It sucks, but when I look around my home I know that I am behind what I see.
Being an adult requires that I know how to cook and know where my food comes from and what it is. It's a lot more effort and responsibility that going out to eat all the time or buying processed food but it's worth it. Because it it is fulfilling.
Yesterday I bought a tin of sardines. I was determined to try them even though they have always seemed so revolting to me. I came home, opened the tin, and saw all those little fishies still with their scales and tails on! Wow! And then I ate one. It was fishy, but not too bad. So I ate some more. And I was PROUD that I ate something new, tried something different, took a chance on something. I do not want to be a food baby! I am an adult! And I want to eat sardines because they are so good for me. So I tried it. There is no hiding the fact that you are eating a dead fish when you eat a sardine. GOOD! I want to know and accept it and be thankful to the fish that fed me yesterday! And to the cow that lived 10 miles down the road and spent her life at a small farm eating grass...thank you her, too. And to the farmer for taking care of her and killing her as humanely as possible.
It's all part of my "metamorphosis" and it's all interconnected. I have trouble putting my finger on this principle, of articulating what I want to say. It's about connection and work and community.  Being closer to my food has changed my attitude toward eating as much as learning WHAT to eat and why has. It's all connected and I wish I could convey that in a way that resonated with my clients more. I want them to know the same joy that I know, of not being a food baby all time.
I know this may have come across as a rant and maybe pompous. I do eat out. I like eating out. And I am NO Martha Stewart. I simply want to convey that there is more to food than taste. Much more.