Today’s Dance: The Many Faces of Food


Food Symbol Sign X

Food Symbol Sign X (Photo credits: www.campgroundsigns.com)

I am part of a family who cooks. Mind you, I'm not a particularly enthusiastic cook myself (though I am a competent cook and a very good baker) but I am surrounded by cooks. We cook dinners that range from 'peasant style' home cooked meals to serious gourmet experiences.

On the other hand, Husband and I love the gastronomical adventure of a well cooked restaurant meal. We have a dozen or so favorite restaurants ranging the gauntlet of world cuisines, and we are often up for the challenge of trying a new place out on a whim.

I'm in the school of 'food is a fuel' eaters. Sometimes (often) I don't much care what food tastes like as long as it meets my criteria for nutrition and cost, and is at least edible. Husband, on the other hand, treats almost every meal like the taste of the food is the most important variable to the meal. This has led (and still leads) to epic economic battles about groceries and kitchenware. It has also led to interesting compromises when Husband has worked to my economic and nutritional standards, and I have upped my flavor game.

Flanders, Netherlands

Flanders, Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To confuse matters more, we both believe in local eating, but are often forced by economics to choose price over proximity. We eat meat, but in vastly different quantities (I'm in the 'meat gives me a tummyache' camp, so my meat intake is limited). Neither of us has food allergies, but both have strong, and sometimes conflicting, food preferences.

Everyone deals with the meals in their lives in different ways. Food is a central choice in all of our lives, and the questions that follow reflect that:

  • So where do you fit in the food spectrum? Foodie, or 'feed me?
  • Do you have any religious dietary restrictions? Moral ones?
  • Do you have food sensitivities? If so, do you honor them, or attempt to ignore them?
  • Are you more of a restaurant eater or an at home eater?
  • Convenience or from scratch? In what proportions?
  • Do you grow or otherwise produce (hunt, raise) any of your own food? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever butchered an animal or seen one butchered? Do you eat meat? Are these two questions intertwined in your life in any way?
  • When there is a clear choice between (significantly) healthier and (significantly) tastier, and no middle ground available, which do you choose? Why?
  • What if the choice is between inexpensive and healthy? Tasty and inexpensive?
  • How much time and effort (including cleanup) are you willing to put forth on a daily basis for meals?
  • Do you have the luxury of (often or always) having someone else in your life put forth that effort? In what ways does that change your diet?
  • If you ate for yourself and made all of your diet choices with no regard to anyone else's taste and with an unlimited budget, how would your diet change?
  • Do you divide foods into 'good' foods and 'bad' foods? How do you define these categories?
  • Sweet or salty or both?
  • What is your favorite comfort food? What about a special treat food? A favorite type of restaurant cuisine?
  • Have you ever successfully re-created a favorite restaurant meal at home? What was it?
  • If you knew tomorrow's dinner would be your last meal, what would you ask for?

As always, today's dance is a conversation spark. Feel free to jot down answers and thoughts here, or simply play with these questions as you move through your daily activities. As always, I will be deeply grateful if you share this conversation with those in your life via those handy buttons at the bottom of the post. See you on the flip side!

Today, February 15, is the last day to enter my Restaurant.com giveaway (until 6 pm central time). Go to the post to enter. Looking forward to giving away those gift certificates.

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About odanu

Maureen O'Danu is the webmistress of Am I the Only One Dancing? where there is a new discussion every day on any one of dozens of topics and ideas, as well as reviews, geekery, family, fun, and enough politics to season the pot.
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