Cooking Can Change the World.
I know this is a bold statement, but I believe it to be true right down to pinky toes.
If you’ve been around here for a while you know that I am super passionate about teaching people the power of good food and if I’m honest when I started my business a lot of it was about giving people meal plans and all kinds of structure on how to eat better. Here’s what I realized - I can talk at people all day and give all kinds of advice but in the end if you’re not empowered to do it yourself and for the right reasons, it’s never going to be sustainable. When it comes down to it, there’s no ‘right’ way to eat. There’s some basic guidelines of course but in the end it is a personal choice how you choose to eat just like anything else.
So here’s where it gets interesting.
When we cook we automatically become more connected to our food which means we naturally start to gravitate towards what works for us and what doesn’t. Doesn’t that sound freeing? To stop listening to all noise out there - just eat real food and feel good?
“That’s great, Krista but how does cooking change the world?” Well, I’m glad you asked because it’s one thing I can go on and on about. Like seriously forever. But to keep your attention I’m just going to run down the most important points. So here goes:
Cooking creates happier, healthier humans.
I kind of already touched on this one but this is the thing. As humans we’ve evolved to intuitively know what we need to eat in order to survive. Again, that’s going to be different for everyone but one thing I do know is that we aren’t meant to live off of the processed foods that now take up space on our grocery store shelves. The amount of lifestyle disease is through the roof because of it. And it gets even more confusing when things are labelled healthy. Just because it makes a claim on the box doesn’t mean it’s good for you. So the best way to get real, healthy food is always going to be to cook it yourself. That way you can feel more confident knowing what you’re putting in your body.
Cooking means more connection.
We live in a world where convenience is king. But at what cost? We’re eating at our desks, in the car, in front of the tv and so much of the time alone. We’re in a time where more and more people are feeling disconnected and isolated. Cooking a meal can be one small change we can make to change all that. Taking the time to make meal with someone or sharing it at the dinner table is a fundamental way to connect with others. If you think about it, how many times have you been in a different country and didn’t speak the language but could connect with someone over food? It’s a part of who we are. So be the person to have someone for dinner. Or it could be as simple as setting an intention of having one meal together everyday with your family. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Just start somewhere.
Cooking supports community.
When you cook, you start to understand more about ingredients and where they come from. Local farmers are heroes in my books and are often undervalued for the work they do. It’s a hard job and competing with big business is something that only the bravest people do and I think we’re all that more conscious of what goes into getting food on the table when we know the face that feeds us. Farmers take so much pride in growing healthy, quality products and we vote with our forks so it’s important to spend money where we most want to see change. So next time you can, head to your local Farmers Market and talk to the people that are growing your food. It's hard to to get passionate about food when you spend some time with them.
Cooking helps us to slow down.
We live in a world where we’re constantly distracted. Constantly on the go. And it’s messing with our mental health. I talked about isolation which can lead to depression. On the other end of the spectrum is being over stimulated all the time which is a major cause of anxiety. A simple way (I say simple but not always easy I know) to calm anxiety is to make slowing down and focusing on the present a priority. Cooking is one thing that will do that. Because you have to be in the moment. You get to use all your senses to prepare a meal. Touch, smell, sight and sound. I like to think of it as a moving meditation.
Cooking is good for the planet.
Again, when you cook, you pay more attention to what you’re eating and why. And when we’re more conscious we’re more likely to make decisions that are better for ourselves and the environment. Industrialized farming is one of the biggest causes of global warming so when we choose to consume less processed foods, industrialized meat and make choices from a place of awareness meaning we’re asking more questions about how things are made the food industry will need to start to change their approach to a more sustainable one. And there’s something to be said about eating local and using what we have. There’s always an impact when things are trucked or flown in from around the world. And when demand is so high for certain products. A great example of this is the rise of almond milk. In California there aren’t enough bees to pollenate the almond trees so they’re being trucked around the state in order to meet the demand (Go watch the Netflix documentary Rotten to learn more about this). It’s these things we don’t think about when things just show up on the grocery shelves. If we could make even one small change, that makes a huge difference.
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