Have you ever shared your thoughts with someone, only to realize they were completely misunderstood? Have the thoughts you shared with intentions of being insightful, helpful and even uplifting brought someone distress, pain and anguish? I recently had this happen to me.
A while back I shared an instagram post, one that I wrote at likely 2am while beyond sleep deprived. It talked about the importance of meals with family and how those should be a priority. I was recently told that it could be seen as privileged in the sense that families who work 40 hours a week and then commute can't make this happen. What about families who do not have money and are stressed? What about the families with way bigger things happening than sitting down together....
I was shook. How did I miss that this is what could have been taken from my post? This is the last thing on earth I EVER would want to convey. So here it is. My explanation.
Am I obsessed with food? Yes, yes I am. Food has caused me pain and suffering for a long time. Food was also causing most of my sons suffering through his first year of life. So yes, we quickly became a family very very focused on food. But this wasnt the beginning of my food journey.
Early on, maybe in 2015? I started reading about food. I started learning about the industrialized food system. I started learning about canning, gardening and cooking. For whatever reason I was very drawn to understanding and questioning food. I started following blogs and instagram pages of homesteaders and gardeners in order to gather the knowledge needed to understand. Around this time is when I landed my first teaching job. In this job was a few blocks of Food Studies 7. This was the beginning of the end. I started learning. studying, inquiring. I was so intrigued. How could you not be.... A. Food is great and B. its literally the only thing we do multiple times everysingle day. And you know... keeps us alive!
The years have come and gone, but that hasn't changed, my need to understand. So when I see broken families, children with so many challenges, disenchanted students and lost overwhelmed parents, I again ask... why? Soo...
I have persoanlly come to the conclusion, that food is something within anyones reach. No not the same food, but some form of food. Even those who do not have complete control over what they are eating, they can choose how it is consumed. This works for the mom who gets food from the food bank and the mom buying organic food from Whole Foods. Just sit down together. Why? Because of all the factors that we cannot control, work.. school, sports etc. Meals is something we can control. It is busy and exhausting but connection is mandatory. Does this have to be 7 days a week? Absolutely not. Just do it sometimes, when you can. Does it have to be dinner? No. Make it a snack, make it breakast, hell, even dessert! Something is better than nothing.
In my post when I referred to food being the foundation for every family, I never meant for anyone to think their family was less than if food wasn't your focus. Maybe love is and how the heck could I judge that? Maybe your family is food insecure. Maybe you are in a place right now where sitting down to eat is just not an option? Thats okay. We again are all at different places and know what is best for our families in this season.
I was referring to when a family is faced with making choices in regards to the foods they eat... i'd love to see you pick the real ones whenever possible. What people don't always realize is that sometimes the food marketed to us as "good" is actually far from. That is not fair to you and your family. You deserve to be educated on what you are buying. We can all agree $20 worth of sugar laced cereal is not as valuable as $20 worth of whole food. But if that is what dinner looks like tonight, so be it. Sit down and eat that cereal together. But you deserve to know the cereal isn't a great meal. Again eating it occasionally isn't going to kill anyone. At the end of the day is it really about the food? No. The food is the vehicle for the connection. What I meant is that you and your family deserve better than the covienience foods that are heavily marketed towards you.But even more important than that... your family deserves connection. Meal time used to be a sacred time. A time where things were discussed and decided. Where sadness, worries and wins were shared. Our busy world left this behind.
Do you know what else you deserve? Knowing how to make food, whole food... fast and easy, because yes, it is possible. From the outside looking in, it may appear that making meals from scratch is easy for me. Fun fact, it wasn't always. Like every skill it takes time. This didn't happen overnight... Like said, this journey started LOONGGG ago for me, and got much more intense recently. I will admit I do love learning, but not always when I'm this tired. Unfortunately this time around, I didn't have a choice. It's not perfect, and I'm still learning. You are welcome to join me on my quest for healing through whole food, but if I am not your cup of tea, that is 100% okay too.
What I want you to know is that regardless of where you are at. I am not judgeing you. I will say that again, I have no judgements towards what you and your family eat. The most valuable thing I have learned since becoming a mother... Each and everyone of us is doing the very best we can. Wherever you are at on your food journey, just know, I see you. I see you trying and that my friends is a beautiful thing.