My favorite section in Newsweek is My Turn, and stories like this one entitled Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (and Child) make me happy to be a subscriber. Hmmm, I guess I’m just clogging up landfills because I could read it online…I have to get that part of my life under control.
Read the story, please. It’s about a vegan woman named Jenny Andrews who has an omnivorous husband named Ken. She says that even though their eating habits are distinctly different, “food is a source of pleasure for us, not conflict.” This is because they both respect what they eat and she realizes that respect for food is not limited to vegans. Jenny says, “Ken sees a chicken as a bird, not a disembodied nugget. He gives thanks for each animal he eats, and savors every last part of it, sometimes stopping midmeal to reseason a dish.”
Ken is a role model. I need to be more like Ken. I don’t want Tasty Chicago to be about consumption of food. I want Tasty Chicago to be about respect for food. Food doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to be respected. It has to satisfy your body’s need for energy and taste good. If a food item does that, it’s worthy of discussion. It’s worthy of deliberation. And it may even be worthy of fantasy.
Does an occasional trip to McD’s belie a fundamental lack of respect for food as Jenny subtly notes with her “disembodied nugget” comment? I hope not, because I patronize McDonald’s yet I think I respect food. I clean my plate. I don’t order huge portions. If I have to take food home, I eat the leftovers the next day or shortly thereafter. I savor every bite whether it’s a greasy burger from a diner or a delicate grilled fish prepared by my wife. I don’t snack much and I consume most of my meals sitting down. But I need to make strides in this area because at times, along with many Americans, I walk that thin line that separates someone who respects food from someone who has a food dysfunction.
This article has raised my consciousness about this issue of respect for food and it’s something that I’m going to revisit throughout 2007. Stop back, or let me know what you think.