I always wanted to be a writer. At first, I wanted to write poetic fiction that would make admirers exclaim at my maturity and true understanding of human emotions. That lasted until I was about 12. I advanced to dramatic literature that would shape my generation and secure my position as a voice of the people. That continued until high school when I decided that my talents would be best put to use behind the scenes, as an editor. I saw myself in tortoiseshell glasses making the tiny changes to a novel that would inevitably send it to the top of the best sellers list.
By the time I reached college, I had toyed with translating French literature, writing ad copy, and penning travel reviews for magazines. I applied for countless jobs and met with family friends in publishing, many of whom told me to consider other professional routes (good advice in the end!)
But as notable as my efforts and completely unsupported belief in myself were, there was one big piece missing: I didn’t write. I loved writing assignments in school, minored in literature in college and loaded my schedule with writing-intense classes. But I didn’t keep a journal. I didn’t keep a blog. I read voraciously but I didn’t keep notes or even write book reviews for friends and family.
The truth is, I didn’t have much to say.
As my future turned in other directions, away from the career path I had always envisioned, I slowly forgot about writing. I worked in sales and marketing, so I wrote client memos and pitch books, but nothing with heart or soul.
It wasn’t until I started pursuing nutrition that I turned back to writing. I found nutrition blogs, books about food systems, and articles about agriculture and politics. I had always loved food and been interested in health, but I had never considered writing about nutrition. But when I started to consider what got me the most excited, the most worked up to write, I could think of only one thing.
I am passionate about food. It makes me happy to think about it, to read about it, to write about it, to share it with you. These were all beautiful meals that I enjoyed while on vacation in Europe last week, and although I’m sure it continually embarrassed my dining companions, I couldn’t help but take pictures of the beauty I see in food.
While I know many people out there feel the same way, and that there are a multitude of examples of this beauty here in the United States, it is always disheartening to return home to this.
While we bicker over our human right to giant sodas, we forget that food isn’t meant to be a political bargaining chip. It isn’t meant to merely fuel the body. It is meant to be a beautiful part of our culture to enjoy, celebrate, and pass on to friends and family. Beautiful food deserves attention, it deserves an “ooh” and an “aah!” as it’s placed before a thankful recipient. Food deserves to have its picture taken.
As many of us attempt to direct our country back to this understanding of food, it is imperative that we remind people of how beautiful a simple meal can be. Next time you make something you are proud of or eat at a restaurants that truly impresses you, take a picture and share it with someone. It may seem strange at first, but think of it as a first step in reminding ourselves of the beauty of food.
- The Aspiring RD