Relating Through Food

by Vicki on April 2, 2010

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the food we eat.

It all started when I saw a TV program showcasing the recent documentary, Food Inc. The host of the program chatted with Michael Pollan, a journalist profiled in the documentary, who has been on a mission to educate the masses on what we consume. Listening to Pollan left me wanting to know more. So the next day I purchased “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto”, his second most recent book.

The book explores:

  • What we consume – largely “edible food like substances” that our great-grandmothers would not recognize as being food
  • How we consume it – alone, thoughtlessly and at warp speed (think hunkered down and gulping)
  • The impact of Government and food producers on our food – not good
  • How we might begin to change our approach to eating – “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

In short – I loved it. There are so many aspects of his writing that I enjoyed and that I think are worthy of sharing, but what I thought was really compelling is his fundamental belief that the Western culture’s relationship with food is broken. How? In Pollan’s words:

We forget that, historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity. As long as humans have been taking meals together, eating has been as much about culture as it has been about biology. Pollan, 2008

Another part of life where relationships have been relegated to “nice to have” and another example of how relationship neglect is unhealthy.

Relationships with and through food. Powerful stuff.


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