As a kid, food had to be something I enjoyed; if I didn’t like it, I didn’t eat it. Now, as a college student, I mostly remember the foods that I have good experiences with. I always try to use food as a way to be more social, whether that be grilling barbeque on the 4th of July with some friends, having breakfast with my mom (which I don’t get to do very often), or treating my cousins to some ice cream. I see food as a way to connect with other people.
My mom is a chef, and I have been spoiled by her ever since the day I was born. My dad’s cooking can’t compare, and I often find that my own cooking doesn’t taste very good. Because of my mom, my expectations for good tasting food is extremely high; whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’m not sure, but I’m always trying to find ways to make food taste the best that it can. Otherwise, I’m simply not satisfied.
My parents have always pushed health on me. “Eat your vegetables,” they would say, “or else you won’t be able to go to the bathroom.” They were extremely straightforward with me when it comes to what types of foods are healthy and what types of food are bad for you. Because of their teachings, I can no longer drink soda for enjoyment. I often have to bite my tongue when I see people binge-eating large amounts of junk food.
The interesting thing, though, is that in Chinese culture, people don’t care where their food comes from and in what way it’s prepared. It can be processed, not organic, or contain MSG, they simply don’t care, as long as the original form of the food is healthy. Of course, this excludes fried foods. This kind of mentality has been etched into me, and I often find myself avoiding the expensive “organic” aisle, even though I know that it’s probably better for me.