The Significance of Food in My Life - Essay Example

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What that role is will depend a great deal upon the individual’s experience and environment and this can result in very highly unique ideas regarding food. It is known that “people…
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The Significance of Food in My Life
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The Significance of Food in my Life No matter what part of the world a person is from, food plays a role in their daily routine. What that role is will depend a great deal upon the individual’s experience and environment and this can result in very highly unique ideas regarding food. It is known that “people decide what to eat, when to eat and whether to eat in highly personal ways, based on behavioral or social motives. Those decisions are rooted in family upbringing, ethnic background, religion, the country or region we grow up in, economics and food beliefs.” How we feel about food therefore reflects a lot about who we are and where we’ve come from. By understanding our own food choices and the significance of food in our own lives, we can gain a clearer understanding of ourselves.
For myself, I was born in South Korea and I lived there for the first 19 years of my life. This was very important to how I feel about food because the culture there is very focused on food as a way of bringing the family together and expressing honor and love to each other. Food is a very important way that the mother can express to the father, the elders and the children that they are important. In South Korea, it is still the elders who are most important in the home and so they are always the ones who get the best helpings of food. As a small child, if I got the best helping, I would feel very, very special, like I was the most important thing to my mother and the one she loved best.
My mother always made sure we had enough to eat when we lived in South Korea. One of the things she made for every meal was Kimchi. Kimchi is a kind of food that is pickled vegetables that have been seasoned to be very spicy. I love to eat Kimchi because I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day back at home. It makes me feel happy to think about spending time with my family and sharing meals together. Another kind of food that I like to eat because it reminds me of home is spicy soup. Like Kimchi, it was a kind of food that my mother would serve every day. When I eat these kinds of foods, the spicy flavor reminds me of home and the heat makes me feel very loved.
Since I came to the United States, though, I have learned more about proper nutrition. I learned that a lot of spicy foods are not good for the body and that salt intake should be kept low. The kinds of food my mother made were great-tasting and ensured that we had plenty to eat all the time so that we felt loved, but the nutritionists in the United States indicate that it wasn’t the best diet for a long and healthy life. Because of what I have learned, I have changed my diet so that I don’t eat spicy foods as much and I only buy food that is low in salt content. It is hard to avoid my favorite foods sometimes, but I do this for my health.
It is clear to me that food can be a comfort, especially when you are far away from home, but that you can make changes to your diet if you have strong enough reasons. My favorite foods were established by my culture and my environment where I grew up. Kimchi and spicy soup are traditional side dishes where I come from. Because my mother always made it for us because she wanted us to know that she loved us, I learned to associate these kinds of foods with feelings of love and togetherness. However, after I moved into a new culture and began learning about nutrition and how to stay healthy, I have changed my eating habits to be in keeping with what my mother wanted for me – to live a long, healthy and happy life. Read More
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