Food for thought


Photo credit: Helen Suh

Have you ever taken a bite of your meal and stopped to realize you have no idea where any of the food on your plate came from? For some people, I’m sure you truly have never cared, but the majority of the population has a general concern with the food they decide to eat.

That’s why it’s baffling to me that close to no one I’m surrounded by seems to have a clue about their dietary choices. I’m not excluding myself when I say this – I lack any knowledge of cuisine and don’t make any efforts to find out.

When did we completely stop caring about where our food came from? The idea of ingesting products every single day with no knowledge of its origins seems absurd. However, this is how we’ve all been living.

I think if we all had a better grasp on tracking where our food came from, then our overall health and well-being could improve. Our dietary choices would absolutely change if we had more knowledge of the different systems our food travels to get to our plates.

All it would take would be to look up the names of the brands we consume on a daily basis and you would have access to any information you may want about the production and distribution of that particular food. It could even be interesting to get a glimpse of all the different countries your food has traveled through to get to the store shelves. Depending on the type of product, you might be happy you looked up its origins before consuming it.

Our generation has also gotten too used to the idea of food, and I think we all take its accessibility for granted. Less than 100 years ago, food was nowhere near as readily available as it is now, and kids of the 21st century don’t even realize that. So maybe taking a deeper look into tracking our food systems could be beneficial in helping us appreciate what we have.

Every ingredient in all of our food came from somewhere, and it’s essential to our food culture that we start paying attention to this. We all have access to learn more about our choices in consumption and become more food conscious – it could even save our lives in the long run.

Emma Vidak-Benjamin can be reached at [email protected] or @gnarlyemma on Twitter.