What is food? For each one of us food has a different meaning based on our interaction with food as children. How our family and society influenced us has shaped these opinions. Food to most of us has more than just a nutritional component; there is often a mental and emotional component as well which at times can be stronger than the nutritional draw of food. It seems that we as a society are less and less in touch with the nutritional aspect of food. We are driven to buy food based on our emotions and desires.  TV commercials use these feelings to help sell their products. When was the last time you saw a commercial for real farm fresh food? The TV commercials I see for food are for packaged and processed foods, and are targeting our emotions and desires so that we buy their product.

For some of us, we have changed those food desires from what we learned as kids, or even how our families still eat.  I myself have changed my diet from when I was a kid. As a kid, and through high school, I ate meat. When I went off to college I was able to choose what I wanted to eat, and became a vegetarian. My family never judged me for this. In fact, they encouraged it. Now in recent years my parents have become plant strong with their diets for health reasons. And out of the blue, last year my husband became a vegetarian without a word of warning! This has worked for us, but this does not work for everyone.

I don’t know that there is one diet that is better than another, but rather you have to have a well-balanced, nutrient dense, whole food based lifestyle of eating. Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio traveled the world and took pictures of what families eat. Their project, “Hungry Planet,” shows what a family will consume in a given week, and it is amazing to see how many cultures eat packaged and processed foods. I know I eat my fair share of packaged foods as I have bought into the ease of buying them from time to time for quick meals. But our household makes the effort to cook as much as possible from fresh foods.

This year our garden got a little bit bigger. And I hope to continue to grow that garden, as the food from it tastes much better than most store bought items.

My husband showed me the following commercial from Chipotle.

It is a great reminder of what is food. Please take the time to watch it, and think about what you are feeding to yourself and your family. Remember that food is about nutrition, and making sure that our body functions.