Valentine’s Day may have an ever-changing face and meaning from a historical perspective. The fact remains that the United States, as well as many other countries: Canda, Mexico, the Philippines, and much of Europe, celebrate this day of Love. Personally, we like to think about Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to express our love for those closest to us with food. Yes, food is love! You have likely read or heard about the ” 5 Love Languages” book written by Dr. Gary Chapman. He defines the 5 ways that people express their love as:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
If you think about the act of cooking together and sharing food it checks all of these boxes on Dr. Chapman’s list. When we compliment someone’s food we are offering them the words of affirmation. ” This is delicious” “Wow You made this?” “Smells wonderful!” As the cook, these statements are music to our ears. How about people who grow food? Go to any farmers market and tell a farmer how nice his tomatoes are compared to another’s and he will beam!
When we share something that we have prepared we are completing acts of service. It is the custom to prepare food for a grieving family. When we invite someone to share in a Thanksgiving feast we are showing our love through an act of service. Think about rolling dough with your children or preparing a special meal with a loved one and you are spending that coveted quality time with them. Often it involves chatting about things or working together toward a common goal.
When we use our physical body and senses we are honoring the ingredients and outcome of our recipe.
When we cook we physically touch the food with our hands, we smell and taste the ingredients, we look at the color and consistency, we listen for the sizzle in the pan or the rustling of a pot of boiling water. When we use our physical body and senses we are honoring the ingredients and outcome of our recipe.
When someone receives our food gift they should feel all the love we put into it, shouldn’t they? Some people can sense the love you put into sharing a food gift even if it is not fancy. Drop off a hot meal for a friend in retail and you will see what I mean. Or when making a casserole instead of making just one, make two and drop one by to a neighbor for no reason at all.
Food is a life-giving force, it is necessary for us to stay alive. Food is energy and fuels our bodies to take on the physical challenges that our life endures. Food is also comforting, a hot cup of cocoa warms us on a cold day and a cool sip of lemonade refreshes us in the heat of summer.
Food is also a common bond that brings us together as humans.
Food is also a common bond that brings us together as humans. No matter where we go, who we meet, regardless of world viewpoints, political opinions or even language barriers we can almost always bond over food. I say almost because there is a very small portion of society that does not like to eat food. Imagine how sad that must be for them and those who love them.
There are millions of us in the United States who do share a love of growing, nurturing, shopping, preparing, cooking and or sharing food. The internet is abundant with advice, help, and suggestions about food. Those of us in this country who provide and those who consume add to that 9,92 billion dollar agriculture and food economy. We are certainly the ones who can attest to the fact that Food is the Ultimate representation of the Love Languages. Food is Love!
Food is Love!
Happy Valentines Day from all of us at For The Love Of Food!