While chatting with a co-worker, the conversation (as it inevitably does when I’m involved) turned to food.
“I eat to live, not live to eat,” he proudly proclaimed at one point.
It’s a sentiment that I’ve been hearing more frequently, and one that puzzles—if not exasperates—me.
What does it mean exactly? I know that people increasingly define themselves by their dietary choices. However, I don’t understand the purpose of asserting indifference towards food.
It could be a reaction to the decadence, gluttony and triviality that many foodies display, but feeling pride about viewing food as merely fuel or a functional part of life is alarming to me.
I don’t eat just to stay alive. Food makes me feel alive.
I eat to connect.
Food is my most direct connection to my Filipino heritage. Growing up, I didn’t know a lot about Filipino history or culture, but I was intimately familiar with the food. As an adult, learning more about Filipino food and cooking it has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be Filipino.
In my stormy relationship with my parents, food has been the lifeboat—the one thing that my parents and I could agree on.
One of my favorite activities is cooking and eating with my husband and son.
For the past 8 years, I’ve had dinner more or less every week with the same group of women. They have been a constant source of laughter, thoughtful discussions, and support.
I have had the opportunity to get to know so many new and amazing people because of shared passion for cooking and eating. I met my friend Evonne because we were both talking about cake on Twitter.
I eat to explore, to learn, to shake hands with different cultures, to challenge myself, to get to know a place, to make memories, to establish traditions, to have fun, to create community. Eating gives my life color and shape.
Simply put, I eat to live.