Food as an Experience

      42 Comments on Food as an Experience

When I think of experiences that stand out above the rest it includes: family or close friends, sometimes an activity, but the consistent element is almost always food. Michael Pollan explains in his book, In Defense of Food, that food in America can be seen as an item on our to-do list that needs to be checked off. However, in other countries food is an experience that can take hours of preparation, cooking, and then “experiencing” food through consumption with family and friends. I would argue that this cultural experience with food develops a depth of tradition, interconnection, and cherished relationships.

Over the past several years family dinners have diminished into silent meals, eating on-the-go, or even into eating alone. I find it discouraging that its more common for families to be consumed in their electronic devices than choosing to connect with their loved ones next to them. In order to change these habits, I contend that it will require intentionality, sacrifice, and commitment to break the “task-mode” eating habit.

I decided to take this course because I have a passion for food, especially, cooking. Originally, I thought it would inspire healthier eating habits, challenge my way of seeing food from a “mindless” consumer to an intentional shopper, and inspire me to make personal changes for my family. What I did not anticipate was the inspiration to emphasize food as an experience. Changing my view from a “task” to prepare, cook, and serve a meal to embodying a shared experience because at the end of the day I am not just making a meal for my family. I am creating traditions, deeper relationships, and memories that will evolve into an interconnectedness with the individuals around me.

Photo: Kohen, L. (2016, November 24). Thanksgiving Traditions: Family, Friends, Food, and Fun. Retrieved January 14, 2018, from


42 thoughts on “Food as an Experience

  1. roturner

    Hi there! I also took this course to be more mindful of meals and food since it’s so integral in our lives. Growing up biracial in the South, I had a melding of cultures (as it seems like you allude) which meant so many different things…mainly focused around food.

    Early memories of show and teach bring me back to the shame of bringing shellfish (which are a staple of my mother’s South Korean diet.) The other students and the teacher would only talk about the smell and strangeness…I thought it was interesting and pride inducing. I quickly realized that what one eats is very reflective of who they “are.” My mother (whilst being from South Korea) was an amazing cook and made us meals from around the world…but, I only wished she would send us to school with a turkey sandwich to blend in.

    Now that I am an adult, I see making meals as my “me” time. My husband often joins, although he shouldn’t be trusted to even salt anything, so that we can talk about our day. Meals, to me, are a part of family and that’s hard to break with no matter how someone views what you’re eating. Food is love and care that transcendes culture.

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