So I was sitting on our balcony today, enjoying and savoring the last bites of my leftovers from dinner last night, and this kind of catchy thought came to me: I am a food lover, not a fighter. In case you’re wondering what my leftovers were, or even if you’re not, I’m excited to tell you: Incredibly tender and flavorful veal cheeks (that would be Argentine veal cheeks) that had been marinated in Malbec for four hours on top of parmesan mushroom risotto (with, of course, cracked black pepper that I added liberally myself, because nearly every kind of food is made better with cracked pepper–Elise Craig, I know you feel me on this one). Anyway, I was thinking to myself how many people would take issue with my food, the complaints rolling through my head like stock prices: the way veal is raised and then slaughtered is horribly inhumane, red meat is bad for your health, risotto is all carbs, parmesan has too many carbs, risotto and/or parmesan and/or red meat have too much fat and calories, it takes too many kilowatt hours to slow-cook veal in wine for that long and it is a waste of energy, mushrooms are a fungus, etc., etc., what have you.
But the food is sooo gooood. Why must we always fight it? In American society, food has become more of a bane than a blessing. What with people obsessing over what they eat and what they burn off, whether or not it’s vegan or gluten-free, and analyzing the protein, fiber, carbohydrate, and fat content of everything, it’s a wonder people ever enjoy meals anymore. It’s insanity to me.
Of course, tons of people out there will take issue with this–to them it’s a matter of morality, a matter of health, a matter of personal aesthetics, a matter of justice, a matter of knowledge, a matter of politics (read the Michael Pollan book The Omnivore’s Dilemna). And it’s true, many or even all of the above issues come into play when you consider the food that ends up on your plate. But I have an idea. Make love, not war. Learn to love what you eat.
Fresh, local, organic, seasonal, sustainable–these are all words that describe the best food out there, not because I am a particularly ethical eater, but because these are the foods that please my taste buds the most. I love–and I do mean truly love–fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. I don’t eat them because I know they’re good for me, I eat them because, heck, I actually want to. If that strikes you as somewhat of a bullshit lie, have it out with my mom, who somehow influenced me to turn out this way. BUT, I’m not one to put up a fight if there’s good food to be had that doesn’t fit that bill. And I’m certainly not one to put up a fight if it’s got lots of fat, simplified sugars, salt, was once a living animal, or was featured on thisiswhyyourefat.com (all the better, in fact).
But that’s why I’m a food lover, and not a fighter. There’s too much amazing food out there to deny myself any part of it (unless it is something that contains blue cheese or gorgonzola, or lots of cilantro, in which case I’m not denying myself anything–just doing myself a favor). Enjoying food is a human blessing, and people here really seem to embrace it. And did I mention that Argentines don’t have nearly the kind of weight problems we have in the States?