Food, Memories, and the Thundercats

I’ve been feeling very nostalgic lately and have noticed that my thoughts have been drifting towards my childhood. I find it interesting that when I feel sentimental about being a kid, I immediately think of food. And for me that means my go to comfort food, chicken adobo.

This feeling proves to me that food is not just a way to keep us alive but is a way of keeping us connected.

Food carries with it very strong ties to our psyche, our self-worth and even our past. This weekend, as I cooked the chicken in soy sauce and vinegar, the smell triggered some very fond memories of being a playful 7 year old in the Philippines, skateboarding around the neighborhood in my Thundercats shirt and plastic flip-flops.

(You might be thinking, skateboarding in flip-flops? Yep. That’s how we rolled in the Philippines – everything in flip-flops.)

olfactory bulbThe fact that smell is the strongest sense tied to our emotions helps to prove this notion as the olfactory bulbs in our nose which detect smell, actually begin in our brain, and more specifically the limbic system-the same area that is associated with memory.

And seeing how integral smell is to our overall food experience (meaning we enjoy food more if we can smell it’s aroma), it’s no wonder that food can evoke such powerful emotions.

Although my dinner triggered very positive memories, I couldn’t help but think of the possibility of food triggering negative emotions. This idea pulled me further into this rabbit hole of thinking of food.

As these thoughts swirled around in my head, it left me further pondering how powerful food is in our lives.

Food is not just a way to give us energy.

It’s a way for us to feel. To feel connected to people, to feel connected to our body.

And a way for us to feel connected to the earth around us.

I say this to you because I hope that as you read this and as we get to know each other, you begin to look at food and your meals with a deeper appreciation.

I hope you begin to look at food not just as the end product on your plate, but to think of it’s source, where it came from, who raised it or grew it, and how it’s going to eventually become a part of YOUR being.

My challenge for you this weekend is to just think about these things while you’re cooking your next meal, while you’re out to dinner, and while you’re eating your breakfast.

Food is not just a physical experience. It’s an emotional one. A psychological one. Even a spiritual one.

Remember this the next time you eat.

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