Sep. 5th, 2013

dormant_dragon: Sleepy Stan from 'All Yesterdays' (Default)
For some time now, my motto has been, "Everything homemade is healthy."

Obviously this doesn't mean that the food I make isn't often loaded with butter, cream, bacon, cheese or duck fat (or sometimes all of the above). What it does mean is that I generally know everything that's going into my food and usually where it's all come from too. I try to maximise the number of ingredients I buy fresh and minimally-tampered-with from markets and to minimise supermarket spending, especially on heavily processed items. I also try to buy organic where possible, especially animal products.

I'm not perfect in adhering to this regime, of course - I am not above chowing down on things like instant noodles (though in this, I am in the company of no less a culinary luminary than Heston Blumenthal), packet soups or frozen pizzas (though in the latter case, I tend to add my own ingredients to the toppings). I do tend to avoid eating from fast-food chain stores, however - mostly because, with very few exceptions, their food leaves me feeling bloated, disgusting and ethically compromised.

The main reasons I claim homemade food is always healthy, though, are mental and philosophical. There is deep emotional satisfaction in creating delicious dishes for myself and others; especially at this time in my life, I need all the positive feelings I can get. It is also very good for me to know that I am actively living my own philosophical beliefs about food. It's been said by many that food is about more than just bodily sustenance but even in these days of preachy TV chefs and growing awareness of the importance of fresh produce, there still seem to be alarming numbers of people who really don't engage with their food as anything more than fuel. Not everyone can love cooking, of course - an afternoon spent pushing meat through a crank-handled mincer, roasting and sieving tomatoes, finely chopping a heap of veg and turning the whole lot into a slow-cooked bolognese sauce probably isn't most other people's ideal Saturday.

I really do think, though, that one's approach to food can reflect a lot about one's approach to life in general. I am an Epicurean - both in its modern sense of being a lover of food and flavour; and in its original philosophical sense of believing that a life of pleasant tranquility is ethically ideal and worth pursuing. Again, I am far from perfect in my efforts to put this into practice; but on those occasions where I settle in to inhabit the kitchen and turn my beautiful fresh and organic ingredients into a delicious meal to share, when I balance the effort of preparation and cooking against the deeply pleasurable reward of eating, then I know I am living up to my beliefs.


dormant_dragon: Sleepy Stan from 'All Yesterdays' (Default)

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