Food for Thought :: Just Food
The topic of food is pretty much on my mind constantly given that: 1) it's my job and, 2) there are few things better than sitting down to a simple meal that casts a splendid spell over you. I admit however, that sometimes I get lost in the mix of daily of life and work...and forget to step back and think beyond the emails awaiting reply in my box, or about what fresh ingredients I have on-hand to whip up a quick dinner. Which is precisely why I love the above quote by the well-known style blogger Garance Dore via this website. Staying relevant. Something that's quite important to many of us, myself definitely included. How do you stay relevant when it comes to something so basic and intrinsic as eating?
Sometimes it just requires a bit of inspiration to bring relevant thoughts and ideas to life. A big thank you to Just Food, the non-profit organization that connects New York communities to local food and farms. Accessibility, information, sustainability and active change are their guiding principles around food. I had the opportunity to attend Just Food's annual conference last week and the general theme of "relevance" and making connections through food was unmistakable. I had the pleasure of sitting in on two extraordinary sessions - one where editors and writers from Saveur Magazine, Tasting Table and Gilt Taste (aka Ruth Reichl's new pet project) kept coming back to the "heritage of food," going back to the roots of food and the memories that spark sensory intrigue. All of this can create innovation and gratitude -- and can promote good food existing right in our own kitchens. It's the experience of a good meal, a seasonal ingredient, interacting with a farmer or local grocer. All of this creates connections, and that furthers relevance.
The second session featured a panel of local area chefs (from the Cleaver Company, Egg, and Palo Santo) who spoke about connecting with food and the value - and health - that good food and well-sourced ingredients can encourage. When it comes to staying relevant, sustainability is certainly one ticket. Considering, even in the smallest of ways, sustainability and where our food comes from is becoming more and more a way of living - or at least it should be. A couple of memorable quotes from the afternoon:
"The idea of 'sustainable' should just be what we do because it's best for us."
"You cook with what's available - and what's at the market, what tastes best...and that's also what's most healthful."
"You care about your body, you should care about what you put into it."
Here's to eating well, eating with consciousness and eating with memorable pleasure. That's surely staying relevant.
Image via Dara Kent-Cobb
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