For the Love of Food

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

March 13, 2011

Water

Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

Some people are irate with foodies. They find their expensive taste trite with adjectives and insulting to the common man. They are fed up hearing from Alice Waters and Michael Pollan with their organic, free-range fare.

I am tired of having to scour over ingredient lists ensuring that there is at least one thing I can pronounce. I am tired of having to wonder about food security as more and more things come from overseas when there are places in my state (Oregon and Michigan) that can prepare the same things. I am tired of buying local when the product is from a CAFO and when I open it up, it’s rank with age.

I am tired of learning about all the foods that cause cancer in their production and consumption. I am even more tired when a friend loses another loved one to breast cancer because they live in an area where “conventional” agriculture is the norm.

We need food to nourish us. We use food as a way to stay connected with those we care about in the form of shared meals. Why shouldn’t we enjoy it?

Sure, it’s an irony when we describe a meal to a fellow foodie, and we find ourselves apologizing for the “conventional” items on our selves or in the dish – holding ourselves to a higher standard but neglecting to forgive ourselves because of budget realities.

I would rather enjoy the food I eat. I would rather explore and enjoy combinations like fresh spinach, goat cheese, and eggs, scrambled or made into an omelet. I would rather experiment with spicy rice, onions, and tomatoes, after having fabulous combinations at the local Mexican restaurant. I would rather make my own, hearty, whole wheat bread than eat the fluffy, rubbery cardboard you can buy in the store (yea, even the good stuff).

There is something magical knowing I created the yummy scents that are emitted from my kitchen. There is something empowering about turning a fresh mushroom into a delicacy. There is something magical about adhering rice and veggies with an egg when I make my own fried rice. There is something magical about realizing that, yes, I can cook and yes, I do care about the ingredients. Be it because of politics or the joy of cooking. Think me trite, if you must, but I will gladly serve you a slice of my bread and make you a homemade meal, nearly anytime.

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