Food is nourishment. Food is connection.
Good days, bad days, celebrations, mourning. Food is there. It can be a burden, an obligation met by busybody, overstressed workers, parents, caregivers. It can be a relief, a comfort, a joy; a refuge to hide away, to spend all the time one’s heart desires to craft the shapes, and flavours, and undertones of a remembered but distant dish–of remembered people, places, experiences.
And of new ones.
Food can be the poverty of an empty table. It can be the extravagance of waste and excess.
Food can be dreaded. It can be hoped for.
I attended a [food-]storytelling workshop yesterday. Parts of the words above came from my scribbled thoughts to the free-write prompt: What does food mean to you?
Food is fundamental and vital for life. We need it (and we need to grow/gather/cultivate it) to survive, to live, to thrive. Food can be a source of nourishment not only physically or biologically, but also for the soul. Traditional foodways and meals can bring back good memories and warm fuzzy feelings. We like to eat.
These things we know. And often we hold them as universally applicable to all. After all, everyone eats, right?
Talking with a friend at the storytelling workshop about our personal stories of food and “food stories” in general, the topic emerged of Hey, wait a minute. Not everyone has a positive relationship or association with food.