When I had the thought to do a Polaroid series of some friends eating their favorite foods, it was more than just a fun exercise. It’s become increasingly clear to me lately how important food is. Maybe that sounds silly — obviously, we need food for things like… survival. What I’m referring to is the community that food creates — the table to gather around, the process of shopping for ingredients and making something consumable out of them.
Not only that, but food waste is a more prevalent issue these days, and sustainability is more important than ever. So, through sharing these images I also want to talk a bit about these things: community and sustainability.
Food is energy. Food is joy. Food is community. Our favorite foods bring us comfort and a feeling of satisfaction that is truly unique — it’s a full-body and full-mind experience. Think about your favorite food. What comes to mind? Probably a memory or two. A smell. A feeling of home or being complete. A moment of respite from going going going, from the rut we get ourselves into.
Gifting someone one of their favorite foods is one of the most intimate and thoughtful things a person can do. Think about it — that surprise pint of ice cream or when your friend says, “this pizza is on me.” It feels like an elevation of a relationship, an acknowledgement of some sort of mutually understood love.
We eat fast these days — in our cars, standing up, quickly at our desks, etc. Sometimes that’s a necessity, but all too often we mistake it as necessary. Why not slow down? Is the world going to end? A slow meal, a sit down, have-a-conversation or read-a-book kind of meal is pretty much guaranteed to improve a day and soothe your mind. Taste that dang food — it’s the reason you’re living. It’s from this very earth. Say thank you, enjoy the heck out of it and see how much better you feel.
Speaking of food coming from the earth, it’s important to also remember that we have to be intentional about nourishing the places our food comes from, and valuing every aspect of that food and what it’s made of.
HANNAH O.: CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
TIPS ON FOOD SUSTAINABILITY:
Eat more plants
Buy and eat locally (think: farmers markets!)
Expand your cooking skills
Learning how to cook new meals and use new ingredients (like meatless options) not only makes eating more fun and exciting, but allows you to reduce your food waste and support more farms and farmers
Reduce food waste
Plan your meals
Only buy what you need
Find ways to utilize leftover scraps
Not sure how? Organizations like CompostNow provide guides and pick-up services, and it’s easy and affordable.
Eat less meat
While you don’t have to eliminate meat unless you choose to, at least cutting down on your consumption is very important (think: Meatless Monday!)
Meat production being a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions
Raising and transporting livestock requires large amounts of food, water, land and energy that other food sources, such as plants, don’t require
HANNAH L.: BANANA PUDDING