While I can’t say that I spend every eating moment in the zen-like appreciation of the body’s connection with the food that I eat (after all, I have spent my lunch hours consuming soup or salad slurping away while I read the newspaper–just to get the stuff in me so that I can go back to work at my desk), it comes pretty close to self-awareness a majority of the time when I consume what will give me sustenance.
This love of food has landed me what I consider one of the best jobs on the planet, at least for me. I love being the Austin Farmers’ Market director, working with a team of passionate co-workers from Sustainable Food Center, and getting a payoff of helping dozens of farmers and food entrepreneurs make a living, which incidentally contributes to thousands of families living more healthily as they shop from the farmers.
I do love food, and I do love cooking it from an untrained point of reference, but I think that in the past several years I have come to appreciate food more for its stories that it transfers from the grower to the eater. There are real people out in the fields, in the orchards, in the grasslands, who bring back an essence of their stories, their trials, their successes, in a whisper that’s captured in the delicate crunch on a carrot, or in the rolling over of a spicy pepper on your tongue.