Food Culture: Create Your Own

Posted on Mar 16 2011 - 3:57am by Mike Lieberman

There was a post on by Aimee titled Why (and How) You Should Create a Healthy Food Culture for Your Family that got me thinking about the food and health culture that I’ve created and the one that I grew up with.

Aimee’s talks about food culture as it relates to couples and kids, why food culture is important today, the food culture of her family and how you can create one of your own. I’d like to address some of those same issues and some others as well.

My Food Culture Growing Up
Growing up I always had to be home for family dinner at 6pm – no excuses and no exceptions. At the time I hated it. All of my friends would be at the park or on the street hanging out, and I’d have to go home to eat dinner with my family.

Looking back it wasn’t such a bad thing. Though there aren’t many fond memories or recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. That aspect is lost. To be honest my mom isn’t a great cook.

I don’t care if she reads this (she likely won’t), but she ain’t good. So there was and is no yearning for one of her home cooked meals.

When it comes to food culture people automatically think

  • Pasta – Italian
  • Borscht – Russian
  • Noodles – Chinese
  • Fat – American

My Food Culture Now
Nearly every night my girlfriend, Anita, and I eat a home cooked meal together. No matter what’s going on or how busy we are, we share that time to sit down, talk about the day and enjoy our meal together. Prior to each meal we give a quick thanks for the food and everyone that went into getting it to our plate.

Why You Should Create Your Own Food Culture
One of the biggest reasons that you should create your own is because your current food system is so jacked and screwed up. I’ve given plenty of reasons to grow your own food and those same ones apply to starting your own food culture. There is also the exploitation of women that happens in our current food system.

These are reasons to start your own food culture to start appreciating food, where it comes from and how it nourishes us.

Start Your Own Food Culture
You don’t necessarily have to have a spouse and kids to start your food culture. You can do it on your own or with friends and family. Once a month you can get together with friends and family to host pot lucks or dinners that feature whole foods and bring people together that way. Get creative with it.

What is the food culture that you have already created or want to create?


9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Donald Calvin Joseph Rice March 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm -

    as i mentioned before, even though i’m single i cook for myself at least 6 days a week. what i need to work on is being more mindful of my food, whether saying grace, or eating somewhere besides in front of the tv or computer (or some place where i won’t have all my dogs staring at me!), or even inviting friends over. i know i’m a pretty good cook, so maybe i could help influence my friends, almost all of whom have really bad eating habits.

    lots to think about here. going to chew on this one for a while (pun intended!).

  2. Mike Lieberman March 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm -

    Start slow and you’ll get it. Invite some friends over for a pot luck where you can all share and talk about what you made or just have some friends over and cook them dinner…

  3. Hannah (Culture Connoisseur) March 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm -

    I grew up in a family of good cooks. So my mother and grandmother taught me well. We always ate fresh, southern food and generally ate around a dinner table. Now I’m grown up and married (no kids yet) but my husband continue to eat meals together, focus on healthy clean eating, and a thankfulness for being able to afford quality food. We have traveled a lot, and made our addition to the family tradition by incorporating international cuisine to our daily lifestyle. We don’t eat “normal” American food most times, and enjoying adding our international friends cultures into our own.

  4. Mike Lieberman March 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm -

    That’s awesome. Sounds like you got it down so far.

  5. Rootsandwingsco March 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm -

    Love this post! Thanks for the reminder. I grew up with homecooked meals every night! I will pass this on to my children. My Mom’s cooking is the kind that you long for. They also did another thing that I continue with my children. Best and worst of the day. While eating we go around the table mentioning our best and worst thing of the day. You can choose anything you want. At first, with my own children, I wanted to leave out the worst thing. Why bring up the negative? However, I have left it in. My thought is this is not just a time to remind us of what great things are going on in our lives. It’s also a time for conversation. Brining up the negative things opens the door for lots of conversation. I learn what is bothering my children. I learn what is tough for them. They learn to be empathetic towards each other. I LOVE this tradition and it will continue, just as my parents did it with me! I will be posting about this in the next short while because I couldn’t agree with you more about all the great things that come from purposefully thinking about your food culture!!

    Again, thanks for the thoughts!

  6. Mike Lieberman March 24, 2011 at 7:21 pm -

    Thank you for sharing yours with me. Love it.

  7. Liz @ The Sixth Letter August 2, 2011 at 5:19 am -

    I just wrote my own post about creating food culture after reading this. I was recently in Europe for two weeks, and the difference in food culture there versus where I live in northern CA was obvious. I’m all for variety (where as many food cultures around the world have a very specific flavor profile) but I would love to create a culture around when, where, and HOW we eat meals. Thanks for your insightful post! 

  8. Mike Lieberman August 4, 2011 at 12:10 am -

    Glad you enjoyed. Appreciate your viewpoint as well.

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