For those that doubt the power of food…

Filed under: — maxweb January 26, 2008 @ 2:13 am

“The real power of food isn’t it’s ability to thrill us or to impress us. it’s its ability to connect; connect us to our heritage, to our land, and especially to connect us to each other, food at it’s best, is about communication and communion…”  – Alton Brown

I recently read someone (who shall remain nameless) whom I respect as a social media persona, twitter that instead of posting ‘valuable’ content, that maybe they should just post LOL’s and food commentary… It got me to thinking, it also got under my skin a bit… I’ve always felt that food was an important item of conversation… It binds people together, it’s something we all have in common and something we can all relate to. I can’t believe that this social media genius can’t see the social value in discussing it, or even the random, “…eating micro popcorn with caramel syrup…” posting on Twitter… Maybe you just gave me the perfect idea for a snack, maybe you just brought back a fond childhood memory of making popcorn with caramel-ly goodness while the neighborhood girls call and giggle into the phone… or maybe you just relayed a little bit of your humanity to all those who follow you… telling me what you eat tells me more about you than many things I see people posting. Giving out links to blog postings, telling me about your upcoming events, or asking thought provoking questions are all great uses of social media, but telling me who you are (you are what you eat) by relaying what’s happening right now, that I can relate to, makes you a human being instead of a social media bot.

My Dad always loved to cook, and he was good at it… He made dishes that I still make for my family today…The friends he had, working at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for many years, were as diverse in color and creed as any rainbow, and lucky for me, I got to enjoy that diversity through-out my childhood, at least every other weekend and a month during Summer… The parties, dinners, and day-out’s with Japanese, Samoans, Hispanic’s, Filipino’s and other people of color, all good people, serving amazing food… and always lots of it… it seems to me that the less money that a family had, the more food they would put out… expecting one to consume mass quantities… I couldn’t be more thankful for that experience in my life, I now can go anywhere, be a part of any crowd and feel as though I fit in… It’s not about black / brown / white / whatever… it’s about the food… and the people behind the mouths that are eating it. That’s something I’m thankful to my Dad for giving me, exposure to all ethnicities and a disregard for fear of unknowns… Each year on the anniversary of his birthday I celebrate by taking my family to a “…hole in the wall…” chinese restaurant… Dad used to love to go to dives and bring me along… it was always funny to see how the people seemed to know him, to accept him, no matter what area of culturally diverse Long Beach or LA we were in, how “sweetheart” just rolled off his silver tongue when talking to a waitress… and how they never flinched at the title… and they always brought heaping plates… of really good food.

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