In an effort to find the answer to this question, I simply did what anyone would do when searching for an answer in the 21st century; I “googled” it. Type in “food” to google search, and this is what you find:
If this is what google is telling people, we are in bigger trouble than I thought.
What is food?
The Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences defines food as “nothing but chemical organic entities.”
According to the very reliable source, Wikipedia, food is defined as “any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals.”
Urban dictionary states that food is “a substance you eat then poop out and is usually followed my a nap.” (This one is my favorite)
It became clear that this was not as easy of a task as I had originally thought. Two years of blood, sweat, and tears and two nutrition coaching certifications later, I have come up with this answer:
“Food is complex.”–Dee
Thank you. Thank you. Please hold all applause until the end.
Food Is Complex
During the 31 years of infinite wisdom and priceless experience that has been my life, I have concluded that food is so much more than the stuff we eat to fuel our body. It is also:
- Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to keep our body from breaking down
- Phytochemicals (from plants) and Zoochemicals (from animals)
- Information–food sends chemical messages to our body to tell it exactly how to work
In addition to the physiological benefits of food, for most, it is also:
- Social–going out to eat with friends
- Emotional–fills a void when we are depressed, lonely, or bored
- Spiritual–fasting or taking communion
- Cultural–family picnics and outings
- Source of Identity–“foodie,” “win-o,” “beer snob”
- …and so much more
I could write an entire book on this topic alone, but we should face the truth together. The market is already oversaturated with confusing books on nutrition, and I would only add to that chaos.
All you need to understand is that food is not as simple as “energy for the body”. Food is complex.
Food Tells a Story
Answer this question: What is food for you?
Is it an emotional release? Is it a means of socializing? Are you one of those sophisticated foodies, or do you eat ramen noodles every day for lunch? Are you a thoughtful consumer who visits the local health food store? Perhaps you are one of the adventurous ones who will eat anything once. Do your ethnicity, religion, or political stance define your food choices? Are you a caregiver who loves cooking for others? Do you eat out of convenience, or do you enjoy a long meal with your family? Do you eat out more than you cook? If you timed yourself, how fast does it take you to consume your meals?
There is no wrong answer here. Everybody has a different story, and food is packed with information about who we are and how we operate our personal lives. It communicates a valuable story about our lives.
Dee’s Extensive Conclusion
Every food choice we make is an opportunity to change our health, our performance, our body composition, and our wellbeing, but it’s not as simple as using willpower to make those DEEcisions. The topic of food is much more complicated than that.
Knowing your story helps.
Thank you. Now you may applause.
Improve Your Life
If you want more information on how to positively change your health, performance, or body composition, I recommend contacting me. I will help you get started on the right path with exercise and nutrition guidance.