Day 17: Food

The first thought that popped into my head when I decided to write about food was the phrase “food is life.”

Surely, a necessary source of energy can’t be life! Such a claim is simply preposterous! Why do I, some hypothetical person criticizing this claim write every sentence with exclamation points?!

Food is definitely one of the most important things in my life. In fact, I could say that I’ve been involved with food my whole life! First of all, food is a necessity. There are very few things that every single human being on the planet can agree on, but one of them is that we need food, water, and air, among other less physical things. Of those, the only one that has any sort of artistic relevance is food. The only one that has any sort of social relevance is food. The only one that has an entire network dedicated to it is food!

Ever since I could remember, Food Network was the go-to channel in my house when nothing else was on. I recall my mom flipping to Rachel Ray or Ina Garten as soon as The Oprah Winfrey Show finished, as I munched on some snack after returning from school. My family was never good at watching TV shows on a weekly basis unless they were cooking competition shows like Master Chef or Food Network Star or Top Chef. It was always amazing to watch these normal people create magical culinary creations in such short amounts of time.

Beyond the spectacle of watching people cook, food has always had an enormous social component, mainly in my family. My family puts an incredible amount of importance into food, as small social gatherings with extended family were all based around a meal or specific item. Trips to my grandma’s house across town occurred because my nani (maternal grandmother) was making parathas or pakoras or some other super unhealthy dish. Other than that, my immediate family bases all of our vacations and time together on food. Every trip out of town consists of driving or walking around, trying to find the best place to eat. Over food, we have our best conversations and our best time together. Empty stomachs never seem to breed the great memories that full ones do. Food isn’t just a necessity. Food is something that brings us together and teaches us about each other. Food is life.

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