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It is almost the new year, and I am starting to reflect back on 2012, which has been the year of making choices. Aside from launching my passion project (Life & Thyme), I also made a concerted effort to eat healthier, buy from farmers markets as much as possible, cook often and for others, but above all: learn from those that produce quality and honest food. I look back on the following post I wrote on Life & Thyme about “getting started” in the world of quality food, and look forward to helping others achieve a life of wholesome, healthy, and flavorful food.

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There’s no doubt I’ve become incredibly passionate about the worlds of food and cooking.

My iTunes library and iPad have been quickly filled with videos, books, and apps from chefs, foodies, farmers, and experts in the industry. I feel like a hungry student trying to soak up as much information and knowledge as I possibly can about cooking and quality of food. The best way to learn is through experience, which means not ordering takeout; it means getting your butt into the kitchen.

The culinary arts can definitely be creative and artistic, but they’re not abstract like painting or music. In the case of my parents—growing up in a not-so-wealthy small town in Mexico—food certainly wasn’t an art in the way that we think about “art,” it was a survival skill.

In small town Mexico there were no fast food, takeout, or delivery options. Just your kitchen and the raw ingredients you had available to you.

You cooked for your loved ones, you bonded, and you knew what you were eating. Today, nobody knows what they are eating. Our diets have been decided by convenience and our minds have been brainwashed by marketing and greed. For thousands of years, food was a straightforward and digestible concept. But in the last two or three generations, food has become a giant, hazy, ambiguous, scary beast.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start preaching against the industrial food complex or how you need to cook every single meal you eat from organic/local sources (yet) because, let’s be honest, we live in 2012 and, unfortunately, it just isn’t that easy. As a society, we make mistakes regarding what we eat because it truly is incredibly hard to do the right thing.

With convenience at every corner we’ve placed more importance on other things, and we’ve become lazy and uneducated about the single most important thing we need to survive: food. Luckily, as humans, we also have willpower and we can slowly find our way back by just being aware of what food is suppose to be (or not be). The goal isn’t to be perfect, but to try our best and do the minimal amount of damage that we possibly can.

So, if you’re interested, I’ll leave you with a quick list of ideas about how to get started:

•           Try cooking at least once a week (and unplug the microwave while you’re at it).

•           Buy your ingredients from a local farmers market.

•           Don’t be a cheap; you get what you pay for.

•           Read ‘Omnivore’s Dilemma,’ by Michael Pollan.

•           Talk to a real butcher.

•           Try to identify the flavors when you eat something.

•           Venture out of your comfort zone. Try other ethnic cuisines.

•           Don’t eat anything that’s delivered to you right as you finish paying the cashier (you know what i’m talking about).

 

Originally posted on Life & Thyme: http://lifeandthyme.com/essay/in-food-we-trust/

 

This post is part of the MomsRising Healthy Holiday Food Blog Carnival.

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