Par Origins (Vol II): Food As A Culture
I didn't devote myself to the food until I adopted a plant-based diet in March of 2016. As an omnivore, my relationship with food was "I'm picky, I like what I like, I eat what I like". Equally as shallow was my awareness of the relationship between food and my health. I was slowly deteriorating and none the wiser. I often uttered, "I eat for the taste of the food, and that's it". But I was missing out on so much! A lot of us are. We eat a variation of starch, meat, grains and the occasional green veg, with an exorbitant amount of processed foods on repeat until we die. The documentary Forks Over Knives explores how our pleasure receptors are tricked by industrialized foods, causing our addiction to nutrient-poor deceptively marketed packaged goods. What is made easily available to us is what we lean towards, it's not our fault. Those actions are built into our culture.
My decision to change my diet was non-political and all for my personal health. I expected to feel better and lose weight, but what was completely out of my realm of expectation was the mental transformation. When considering a lifestyle diet change, most people fixate on the cost and the effort. Those factors are the two most practical and obvious excuses for maintaining the status quo: "I can't be vegan, it's too expensive" and "What do you even eat?" and "I don't want to eat salads all the time". The cost factor is a myth, that in my experience only has an inkling of truth when you just begin your transition. Building up a pantry takes a while, if you heavily relied on processed foods, then your grocery budget levels back out. The cost benefit favours a plant-based diet when you weigh in healthcare and the environmental costs. The perceived effort to transition a dietary lifestyle is totally subjective and tied to longterm motivation.
It takes commitment and a willingness to explore.
Deciding to effectively reclaim control over my body was a life changer. My consumption patterns changed, I found I ate less, was full longer and deepened my relationship with food. I still eat for taste. I'm motivated to find the pleasure in a whole foods plant-based diet. It has become my mission. I hunt flavours, experiment, and study. My belief system is built on the foundation that you don't give anything up by being vegan. If done right, you gain so much. I still have old habits to renounce to get closer to optimal health - but food is now my culture.
What I choose to eat is part of my personal expression. It's a part of my love language. A plant-based diet will be my gift to my children. It's the gift I share with my friends for the sole purpose of divvying up joy and forming bonds!
When you can inspire a group of people to approach food with fervor, lives can change.