(The rift valley)
The hungryskier blog started as a blog that looked at the eating habits of the ski culture. It has now morphed into whatever I want it to be. I often times would look at how we relate to food from a utility aspect and from and social aspect. Now I think to myself, does our relationship to food depend on our physical access to food? I do not have a good relationship with beets. I cannot lie. I do not like them. I feel like I am eating red dirt. But then, could our surroundings and social experiences change our relationship to food? Could my experience with Kenyans alter my view, taste, appreciation, and how I treat food? YES.
While in Kenya I ate beets and they tasted good. BOOM. My dad would be so proud. It is not a surprise to come home to find beets boiling away on the stove spilling deep red water all over the counter. When I am in a different culture, I do not give myself the opportunity to not eat something. It is not polite to leave food on your plate in many cases. I eat what I am given. But this time it was different. i more enjoyed the beets put in front of me. Maybe it was the way they were cooked. Maybe it was the company surrounding me. Maybe it was the atmosphere of joy and a foreign family that changed my taste palate. Our relationship to food dictates how we utilize food.
(even the elephants take family time)
Through the the lense of our paradigms, we may assume food is only a vehicle of social joy and experience when you have the resources to let it be. We could assume that those who have less use food more for sufficing their bodily need and do not let it morph into a social experience. This view is both right and wrong. When we were feeding orphans, they did not hesitate to begin eating. They did not get in groups and socialize over the aspects of their meal. But it was also a social time. They came together and smiled and would talk. This time every day had not just become and feeding time, but a time to eat with friends. Families are the same. Despite the drastic differences in income, the way a family sits down to dinner in the US is very similar to the way a family sits down in Kenya. They came together, said grace with grateful hearts, and ate as a social unit. There was discussion and laughter, smiles and frowns, and a commitment not just to the food, but to the group that we were sitting in.
Food brings life. It brings life in the physical but it is also a conduit for life in the spirit. You can see the light in people grow brighter as they prepare, eat, and clean up a meal with each other. A couple friends and I do this every time we are together. We prepare, cook, and clean the meal and it brings joy and life to us. Not only do we get the nutritional life through the food, but we get the light of life in the sharing with one another. There is a reason a pretty big historical figure told us all to come together to break bread. There is something beyond nutritional substance that goes on. It transcends cultural, socio-economic, and man made borders. It goes beyond explanation. It goes beyond species too.
more to come soon 🙂
all pictures property of Benjamin L. Crosby