Food Relationships


Food is the life force every living thing on Earth. Food provides us with the nutrients and energy for sustainability. As prominent our food is, the relationship with food is as just as important. If our relationship with food is key, then what does that mean?

Lets compare a food relationship to two types of relationships people have with each other, a monogamous relationship and friends with benefits. Both types have their pros and cons. The goal here is to explore them and see how the one’s relationship with food fits into these models.

A monogamous relationship is an exclusive type relationship where two people agree to be committed to only each other. The couple works together by pooling in resources such as time, money, skills, etc… to build the foundation for their relationship. In other words, a simple give and take.

How this relates to food is simple. A person either makes their food or grows their own food. Purchasing ingredients to  make dishes, is the equivalent to dating to pick a good mate. One makes an assessment of the quality of the goods for purchase, as one would a prospect to date. With that information, you make a decision to purchase an item, or in dating terms, go spend time with them.

After awhile of purchasing one’s goods at a store, a new choice becomes available. One can simply continue this exchange of funds (like dating) for items of desire or simply grow it at home and have it all to yourself.

With the grow your own food option, equivalent to starting a new relationship with a person, you begin look at your food in a different way. You learn the about what the food needs in order to grow. Information such how much time it needs to grow, what type of environment the food thrives in, etc…

Learning about your partner is a necessity to grow strong together. Awareness of your partner needs and wants are is in common with studying the cultivation process of your home grown food. In time, the amount of time and energy invested growing food will reap a plentiful harvest, such spending a lifetime with the person you love.

The cons for this type of relationship is having to spend energy, money and time into learning how to cook meals or to garden. Cooking food take skill and also knowledge on utilize various ingredients to make a meal. Plus, using appliances as well such the stove, blender, and any other kitchen appliances and tools.

Gardening is also a lot more complex then just simply putting a seed in the ground, water it and wait for it to grow. One must know how to use different soils, fertilizers or spacing your crops to produce a maximum yield. Gardening tools are a prime addition to use. Shovels, rakes, hoses and the like, need a basic amount of experience to be effective. Gardening, like all of other skills, can be a work of art.

On the flip side, having a “friends with benefits” food relationship, answers the need for a short term need or want. Friends with benefits is a type of relationship that two people enter with no exclusivity to each other but agreed to spend their time and resources occasionally. This type of relationship embraces instant or at least quick gratification.

Now what this relationship type means is a person seeks fast food, snacks, quick meals, meal-to-go, take out, restaurant food, etc… These options provide a simple yet immediate means to acquire food in a low investment approach. The only major resources consumed in the relationship is money. Time and energy at considerably lower compared to a building a monogamous long-term relationship.

The potential consequences of this food relationship is being unfulfilled. An accumulation of short term experiences tends to create the yearning for something fulfilling. It is like after a week of consuming fast food, one will begin to loathe it. The overexposure to particular food generates this type of response. As the saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life”.

With that said, the pros of the friends with benefits relationship is that it offers variety. One can entertain and be with a wide spectrum of people. Having multiple options give a person a sense of liberty and power in choosing who verses looking and working with one. Same as with foods, having a wide variety of quick/readily made food will provide a plethora of options that are outside your cabinet, refrigerator and/or garden.

To conclude, food relationships are the reflection of the person. Person values are represented in how and what they eat. Whether a monogamous relationship or a friends with benefits type of relationship, the rewards and and its consequences is all on you. After all, you are what you eat!

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Jonathan Lane