Slow Down and Smell The...Food?

Gluttony is probably the sin I indulge in the most and, at this point in my life, I'm able to eat what I want at whatever quantity I want. This does not mean I am an undiscerning eater. Quite the contrary, I enjoy quality food and wish I was better at cooking those fancy meals. While fast food certainly kept me fed during school, now that I am out and bringing home a paycheck, I came to the decision that fast food really has nothing to offer me anymore. I ate it for the quantity to price ratio, to help keep some weight on my body for sports. Without that high demand for energy, quantity really has become a non-issue. Another aspect of eating I feel fortunate in is that I haven't really met a food I didn't like. There are exceptions (like White Castle, but I have the fast-food-embargo card to play there now), but they really boil down to badly prepared food, not the food item itself. So I challenge myself when I eat to either order or make something I have not had before. This is most challenging at Thai restaurants, as I love Pad Thai; usually, those I'm eating with order it and I can get something else, knowing I'll probably get the end of their plates when they have become full. My cooking abilities are quite meager at this point. The hardest part for me is that I don't like to cook for just myself. So if a certain someone could return from New Zealand, perhaps the pots and pans would get more varied use! That situation will be rectified soon, so I'll be able to crack into that Joy of Cooking cookbook and create some tasty treats. One aspect of cooking I hadn't really considered before was the origin of the ingredients. Just go the the Schnucks or Shop and Save and pick up your ingredients, right? Well, not necessarily. Part of green living is working to use nature and the environment in a sustainable way, but also doing it in a way that still benefits people in other ways. It was in thinking about how to shop for food that would be raised in a "green" way that I came across an organization that is striving to promote this way of thinking. Their motto: "…counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world." Their name: Slow Food International. Always in search of getting more out of my experiences, I think this organization brings quite a bit of education to the table (pun intended), teaching people about the hows, whys, whats, and whens of the foods they eat. It seems pretty obvious that supporting the local farmer's markets and co-ops. Search Google Maps for farmer's markets near your zipcode and you'll probably find a few; I found 6 within 10 miles of me. Who knew? I do, now. So here's to making and experiencing good food, knowing that you are being responsible to yourself, your local community, and the ecosystem. It certainly makes things taste better knowing you're contributing to those causes.