Jul. 18th, 2017

Food security. Food deserts. The hundred kilometre or hundred metre diet. Eating disorders. Comfort food. Discomfort food. Fast food. Slow food. Vegetarianism. Veganism. Maybe we are what we eat, but our relationship with food can certainly be conflicted and complicated!

These days we tend pretty much to go with the flow food-wise. Today, for example, we went up to the Shouldice Farms stand on Prince of Wales, bought strawberries and tomatoes, and proceeded on to Parkdale Market where we got some of the first local corn of the season, some blueberries, some broccoli, some more tomatoes (little one this time) and some green peppers. We cooked up the corn for lunch and then went to Purple Cow and had ice cream cones for dessert.

In the summer and the fall, when good fresh food is in season, life's good. I can eat strawberries every day throughout the local growing season and never get tired of them. Add a dash of Grand Marnier (which we've come to refer to as "joy juice") and some whipped cream and angel food cake, and that's even better. And I think for sure there's a blueberry pie and maybe a few blueberry muffins in our not-too-distant future! We did give Haskap berries a try this year too - not bad but not as good as blueberries (though they're apparently much hardier and can survive lower temperatures.

Strawberries are something I liked as a child too. I may or may not have related in this blog the story of how, at the age of about seven or eight, I broke out in hives all over my body. Alarmed, my mother took me to the paediatrician and the only thing she could think of that could have caused them was the strawberries I'd eaten the evening before. She said that moving forward I should generally avoid strawberries but after I recovered, perhaps occasionally risk "literally one strawberry" and see what happened.

I probably didn't eat too many more strawberries for the rest of that summer, but of course once they literally became forbidden fruit, I craved them all the more. When they were subsequently reintegrated into my diet, I had no further recurrences of hives and strawberries and strawberry shortcake once again took their place as one of my favoured desserts.

When my daughter was going to day care (between the ages of five and eight), there used to be field trips to pick berries every summer. In those days, she wasn't too crazy about the berries themselves but liked the cream and cake! That changed as she got older and her kids are fond of berries too, especially blueberries!

Corn is a bit of a different story. I rarely ate corn when I was growing up and from my mother's perspective, corn was something you fed to the chickens! My dad was a little more open-minded about food, I think - in fact, he often used to polish off the food that no one else wanted. My mother had various comments about the matter, one of her commonest being that he was "digging his grave with his teeth". He was, however, very thin and frail during his last days and weeks, so I seriously doubt that it was anything he ate that ultimately finished him off!

Anyway, corn on the cob is another of those foods that I rarely get tired of - though it's certainly helpful to have the dental floss close at hand afterwards!

Looking back at the title I chose for this post, I realize I haven't really said much about UNEASY relationships with food. I think I was planning to comment on things like the recent Netflix video about eating disorders in which Lily Collins (who herself battled an eating disorder) starred, or the recent evidence about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and wire barbecue brushes, or the requirement for restaurant chains to post calorie counts for their offerings... but that'll have to wait for another day.



October 2017


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