Yummy yummy in my tummy 

October 19, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

This past Monday, Oct. 16, was World Food Day, celebrating the food and various cultures it comes from while raising awareness of food security, hunger, better access and equality.

I don’t really need to explain the importance of food in terms of a survival aspect for us. Who doesn’t love food?! Rather, I want to discuss how important it is for us as a way that we identify and live as a species.  

From tribes following herds, venturing into unknown lands, and settling in different areas. Changing the course of our history. The types of cuisines that represent different cultures come from that country’s location, based off the available ingredients, and can be a great way to get into that culture, learn and appreciate it more.

You’ve got sushi from Japan; tacos and quesadillas from Mexico; spicy butter chicken from India; mouth-watering pizza from Italy; noodles and dumplings from China; fish and chips from England; and of course, poutine here in Canada. Just to name a few. Oh boy, my mouth is already salivating.

As I mentioned, food is important not only as a society, but on a smaller scale, right down to the individual. The family dinner is a great way to connect with your loved ones. Maybe a nice way to introduce someone new? Going out to eat is pretty much the essential starter for dating. Getting together with friends for a potluck is always a blast. And how many times do you get up for a midnight snack?

Turkey at Thanksgiving, fish at Christmas, and many other foods that represent a religious or cultural holiday/celebration play a central role. Seeing all the dishes laid out on the table is like art. Or, at certain times of the year, a warm bowl of soupto keep you going during the winter.Corn on the cob during a nice summer evening, followed with watermelons and peaches. An apple in the fall. While others are great all year, like pasta or burgers. 

Combining different foods or ingredients can be mostly satisfying, though I’m sure some combinations are definitely more niche. Peanut butter and jelly always go great together. Chocolate and peanut butter are incredible. A juicy steak with a baked potato. Chips and dip. Okay, I gotta move on before I raid my fridge. 

Even for just events, they’re enhanced with food, like watching a sports game while chowing down on wings. Or binge-watching a show while binge-eating ice cream. 

But trying a new food is exciting. Opening that big cook/baking book and see what to make. I can’t watch cooking shows/contests for long, because my stomach starts craving everything. 

I admit, growing up, I was a very picky eater, which is a big understatement. And it started even before I was born, as my mother recalled throwing up a lot during her pregnancy, more than both my siblings combined probably. She’ll never forget the struggle of feeding me as a toddler, which also required my father and Nonna to restrain me to get something in me. I’d try one mouthful of something, and if my highly sensitive taste buds didn’t enjoy it, well, the battle of feeding me began. “Just try it” or “A little more” were constantly said to me. Those were some long dinners. Going out for dinner was even worse. 

But as I’ve grown older, I’m not an extremely picky eater anymore, and I’ve broadened my cravings. I used to revolt at the thought of sushi; now, it’s one of my all-time favourites. Spicy foods used to terrify me, but now 

I’ve been able to handle and enjoy it a bit more. Fajitas, stir fry, burritos, and Chinese chow mein are just some foods I’ve come to love and add to my stomach. The biggest shock was coming to enjoy my Nonna’s minestrone, something I truly dreaded and would do my best to hide it when not being seen. Going out is more exciting and easier. 

But the best place to get food is from its original country, local, or your own garden. I’ll never forget my Nonna’s garden, the 100 tomato plants, beans, zucchini, peas, and much more. The various shapes, sizes, and colours. The experience of making tomato sauce, cleaning the tomatoes, helping her break open the bean pods while we talked or watch T.V. And I can still taste the freshness of it all.

When thinking of food, think of the hard work put in. From Mother Earth, to the farmers, grocery store workers, your parents, or yourself. Think of what else there is to try, and for those less fortunate. Appreciate what you have.

So, after this, how hungry are you? And what do you feel like eating?

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