Professor Jesse Miller
20 March 2019
Food, an important piece to our survival, without food life would be over. Is that all food is though? Is food only a utility we need to keep our bodies functioning? Truly, that cannot be all that food is used for there has to be something of underlying importance for it. Sometimes I sit and ponder what food is really here for. If it simply was a utility, then why do we enjoy it so much? For me, I find that food has values, it has an emotional importance behind it, and demonstrates certain methods of civilization and relationships many people possess. It is not only me who has these feelings, many others possess such thoughts and feelings. Michael Pollan composed an article called “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch”, it discusses the relationships and meanings of food from the older days to now, it also brings in an interesting aspect of cooking shows veering from Julia Child’s show to more modern day shows like Chopped and Rachel Ray. The article causes one to ponder their own relationships with food and how they believe it is perceived as today. This can connect to many others writers’ ideas on the culture of their own favorite foods and values.
Erica, Bryan and Emma all have their own opinions on their values of food and culture through their own interpretations of their favorite foods. Erica discusses how food impacts her views on the little things in life as well as allows her to realize the importance of spending time with her family. She found all of this through spending time cooking and baking with her entire family. Erica also touches on the idea of how eating her favorite food was savory and how although she did not enjoy it at first, she grew to love it. Bryan brings in the idea of a certain holiday that always has his favorite meal present. Bryan discusses the repetitiveness of his annual thanksgiving dinner and the anticipation he feels for the time his favorite meal will be served, the ham. He uses the ham as a sense of comfort as well as elaborates on the ideal taste of the slow cooked creation. It doesn’t stop there, he also discusses the meals main importance to him. Emma brings in a simpler meal, that I personally have never had the pleasure of having. The meals name is hurry up spaghetti which is a combination of spaghetti and ham. She quickly mentions the convenience of the meal and the great taste before diving in to the true meaning behind her love for the meal. Through these favorite meal narratives, Erica, Bryan and Emma are all able to establish an understanding of the viewpoints reflected in Pollan’s article.
Erica’s narrative brings in an interesting perspective on the “rules” of eating within the household. Within the first part of her favorite meal narrative, Erica discusses on how chicken is something eaten by her family every Monday and Tuesday, “One of my parents goes grocery shopping on Sunday and buys everything we need for the week, which includes chicken not only for us, but the dogs too. The beginning of the week is usually tiring, and cooking chicken does not require too much effort, especially if it is already cooked when you buy it” (Verville). It builds in the idea of the convenience and quickness some meals have that makes some days a little bit easier. This can be connected to Pollan’s work in his discussion on the new convenience we find we need today. Insert Quotation. We always desire a food that is real, but never consider wanting to put time and effort into the meals nowadays. Usually, we rely on the quick prepared meals or precooked chicken, such as the ones Erica’s family buys every week. Not only does Erica’s narrative bring in the convenience of certain foods, but it also captivates the culture of passing down certain recipes.
Erica’s mom was the first person to prepare her favorite meal of chicken divon for her. For her entire life, she had always assumed it was just a recipe she found on the internet or in a cook book. When writing her favorite meal narrative, she asked her mom where it came from, and realized it was a family recipe, ““I had brought Devon to my cousin Patty’s house on a snow day and she made it for dinner. I liked it, so I asked for the recipe. It is nostalgic to me and reminds me of a great time in my life.” The “great time in [her] life” that she refers to dates back to about 20 years ago, when my older brother, Devon, was a toddler and some members of our extended family were still living here in Maine” (Verville). This brings in an emotional standpoint on how recipes that can be brought down from others can bring in a meaning for many people down the line. For instance, her mom is reminded of a great time in her life, while Erica herself is brought joy and content when the food appears for a mood that day.