A view of a market stall with lots of colorful fruit and vegetables.

Food is Joy

Enjoy Watermelon this Summer. Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Close your eyes and remember the first time you ate a fresh strawberry or a ripe peach.

Imagine the juices dripping down your chin as you bit into a slice of watermelon.

Think about eating a tasty, crumbly, creamy cheese.

Or perhaps you remember the aroma of a juicy steak just off the grill.

Just writing this makes me feel privileged to have had those experiences. I traveled through most of Europe, eating as I go. The memories of eating a baguette with cheese in Paris, a meat tray on a wooden platter in Austria, fresh watermelon on the beach in Croatia after snorkelling, fresh pasta in Rome while eating with friends and colleagues will never leave me..

Mmmmm, cheese. Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

I have also been fortunate to have grown my own food – mostly vegetables, and some soft fruit. There is nothing that can replace going into my garden on a cool dewy morning to pick full ripe blackberries or eating fresh cherry tomatoes straight off the vine. My mum used to rave about my red cabbages – because they were straight out of the ground they tasted nothing like those from a supermarket.

There should be no privilege in enjoying food. We all must have the opportunity to experience food as joy. I was going to call this blog post “Food as a Weapon” and start listing the ways in which food is used to control and oppress people. I just attended a couple of conferences and webinars where the use of food as a weapon was clearly the goal of many governments and lead to hunger and starvation in, for example, Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela. Even without direct government involvement, political decisions in the US and in Europe mean that for some people just getting any food is a hassle removing all the pleasure out of eating. People should not have to worry whether their food is safe and healthy to eat at every mouthful. I might still write that blog post one day.  

Today, I want to remember the pleasures of eating good, healthy food. Let us never forget what that joy tastes like. We must appreciate and remember those moments of joy and make sure that we all have the opportunity to create them again and again. Do not take for granted the food on our plates and do not forget that joy because, if we do, we will lose it. Currently we have two different food systems: One for those who can afford fresh, organically grown, local food and the other for people who can only afford mass produced packaged food-like substances.

I enjoy visiting local markets when I can. Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

Share a joyful food memory in the comments and directly share the joy of food with a friend or a family member this month. Find a local food artisan and find the joy in food again. I am about to visit my Dad, where I will cook him some of our favorite dishes: hazelnut and tomato bake, cheese omelette, and rhubarb crumble with ice cream. If I am lucky I will buy food from the local farmers market and from the local grocers, knowing where my food comes from.

I know my small food businesses and food entrepreneurs don’t forget that food is joy. They create happy moments with food every day. You should do the same.

5 thoughts on “Food is Joy

  1. Jesse Brisendine

    One of my favorite food memories is a dinner I had in London. The food was unbelievable and was the perfect backdrop to an evening of bonding and laughter among friends.

  2. Tracy

    The only time that food played a central role in the planning of a trip was on a short trip to Damascus, while we were living in Doha. (It’s poignant to remember because as you noted, food shortage/control in Syria contributed to the horrific state of things over there since soon after our visit. )
    My husband had been following the blog of Syrian Foodie in London, and wrote him directly for restaurant advice. We followed his tips, and had some of the most amazing meals ever. The endless fresh-baked bread flowing from woodstoves, shainklish cheese and muhammarah (a paste of roasted red peppers, walnuts, chilis and pomegranate molasses) are the things that stand out in my memory. We have been fans of Syrian food ever since.

    1. cdavies Post author

      What an amazing experience! My mouth is watering.

      Thank you for sharing.

  3. Rebecca

    Taking our children to pick blueberries when they were small. The quiet field with just the murmurs of other pickers and the plink plink of berries being dropped into buckets while the hot sun beat down on us … a small child in a carrier on my back reaching over my head to pull some berries off the bush himself. And the lovely full buckets of blueberries, a promise of much good snacking and baking to come!

    1. cdavies Post author

      That sounds lovely. I remember picking blackberries on walks with mum and dad. Climbing roadside banks to reach the juiciest berries.

Comments are closed.