2002 has been an exciting year in food--lots of interesting experiences, new friends and revelations. Here are some of my thoughts about this past year.
More fresh, in season and local food--In recent years, I've tended towards enjoying local, in season produce. This year buying local really made an impact on my food buying and eating choices. Although we buy some imported produce, most of our purchases are local and seasonal, like heirloom tomatoes, squash and other winter veggies, local apples, seasonal greens and local berries. I've learned to go crazy and eat as much as I can of whatever is in season, then be patient for the rest of the year. We've started to buy more organic produce too.
Eating communally--This year we've had the opportunity to sit with total strangers and eat with them at events such as Gung Haggis Fat Choy, Wayson Choy roast, ACWW awards, seder at the Lubavitch Centre and the launch of Deconstructing Supper. How uplifting and exciting it is to break bread, strike up conversations and make new friends. I've always valued eating together with friends and family (of which I find us doing more and more), but this extend the values and experiences into more of a community.
More global awareness--This year my awareness of the global effects of food has been strengthened. Through the work that I do, I'm very familiar with the societal dynamics of food (food security, poverty, inequitable food distribution systems). Over this past year I've become more familiar with the even larger scope of food politics, economics, social fall out, and control and power of large food manufacturers, producers and brokers. Reading books like Fast Food Nation and watching documentaries like Deconstructing Supper have influenced my views on "fast food" and makes me suspicious and skeptical about the food industry. I'm even more passionate about the slow food movement and using more whole foods.
Writing Food, UBC Writing Centre--I figured it was about time for me to take a course about writing food, since I've been writing for VanEats for over 2 years and I've been needing more insight into writing about food. This fall I took this 8 week course and was fascinated and entertained by the broad aspects of food as literature and food in literature. Highlights of this course were discussions led by the affable Ira Nadel, field trips to a variety of food related shops and dining out with fellow students.
Food people--This year we had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know people like John Bishop, Barbara-Jo McIntosh and Naty & Gary King at Hazelmere Farms. It's been fascinating to hear their stories and experiences with food and to be inspired by their passion about food.
Great meals, out and in--Again, this year has been filled with fabulous meals!! We've had the opportunity to eat at great well known places like Bishop's, Lumiere and Tojo's. And we've eaten at less glamourous but equally fabulous places like Deluxe Moderne Burger, Guu and Double Double. And not to forget great al fresco meals in some of our favourite locales. We also had memorable food adventures on our trip to San Francisco--there's nothing like eating in other places to get inspired to cook new things. At home, we've had great food gatherings, large and small--from our birthday bashes and Winter Warm-up to more intimate home cooked dinners with close friends.