Go On, Play With Your Food!
When it comes to food, most of us don’t regularly stop and think about what we’re eating. Sure, we might pause briefly to appreciate a perfectly balanced cup of bean-free coffee or the ideal ratio of nut-free peanut butter to jelly on our sandwich. But before we know it, we’re back to chowing down, our minds wandering to that one o’clock meeting we have with our boss. But who said having fun with our food was off limits for us adults? Not us! Roll up your sleeves and grab a seat at our dining table as we explore the pros of getting up close and personal with our food.
Why Playing With Your Food Isn’t Actually So Childish
Whenever we imagine someone playing with their food, we picture a full-blown food fight in a middle school cafeteria or an infant throwing a handful of peas after refusing to eat those mysterious green spheres. But that got us thinking, why should kids get to have all the fun? And why do these well-known connotations all depict playing with food as such a negative experience? Here’s why we think we could all benefit from some playfulness at our next meal.
Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat — Or Our Tastebuds
Fundamentally, the act of playing with our food stems from a sense of curiosity and wonderment around the magic that is what we eat. For many of us, eating often becomes a mindless activity, its sole purpose to provide us with the energy we need. When we do take time to appreciate the food on our plate, it’s usually brought on by a special occasion or a fancy meal at a high end restaurant. But instead of waiting for moments like those to come along, why not create them ourselves?
Eating is one of the few activities we engage in not only on a regular basis, but multiple times a day, so it’s worthwhile to make the most of something we spend so much of our time doing. So next time you sit down to eat, don’t just go through the motions. Instead, be thoughtful about the food that’s in front of you. What are the dominant flavors? Does this food bring back any fond memories? What sensations — joy, nostalgia, warmth — does this food bring to you? You might be surprised what you learn.
A Deeper Connection to Food
By opening your mind — and sense of curiosity — as you enjoy your next meal, you’re likely to develop a stronger connection to it. Many of us already possess deep ties to our culture, identities, and ways of living through what we eat, and taking time to slow down and appreciate these connections will only strengthen them. Whether it’s a bite of the time-tested recipe passed down from your grandmother that reminds you of the first time you made it together in her kitchen or a sip of the perfectly proportioned coffee you made the first day you moved into your new apartment, most of our experiences with food take us to a deeper, more profound place than our stomachs. These connections to food live just as much in our hearts.
Getting Creative in the Kitchen
While the idea of dissecting your food sounds like something more suitable for a lab than a kitchen, the fundamental idea of getting creative and innovative with what we eat is one we wholeheartedly stand behind. Because in order to create reimagined versions of our favorite foods that are better for people and the planet, we’ve had to get a bit creative. And that’s where the fun comes in. We’re not afraid to get our hands dirty in the name of creating delicious food and drink — and neither should you! So don’t be afraid to think outside the box, because if we’re being honest, that’s where the magic happens.