Wednesday, November 7, 2007

So, why blog? For those of you who know me, this blog is probably more than a little unexpected. You all know I'm a foodie, but few of you would have guessed "blogger". Thinking about this, I have come to the conclusion that I am an unfulfilled foodie. There are many great cooks/food writers out there with their own food audiences. I like many of them, but no one that I know of fits all of my food needs. In thinking about and beginning to write this blog, I have come to think of my food needs as "The 5".

1) Food should be excellent tasting - unsurprising
2) Food should be easy to prepare - we do this six nights a week
3) Food should not break the bank - we're not rolling in cash
4) Food should be good for you - we plan to be cooking decades from now
5) Food should not ruin our environment - we want T to be cooking MANY decades from now

I don't think these are unusual goals for the home cook. I also strongly believe that all five are achievable. I think it's hard.

One is pretty easy to achieve, so we'll set that aside. Food is very easy to prepare (two) if none of the other five matter, but much of the "fast" cuisine out there relies on pre-packaged, processed food. It can be low on taste; high in cost; high in fat, calories, and sodium; and low in sustainability. Inexpensive food (three) is also often low on taste and health (yours and the environment's). Healthy food (four) is often bleak - not enough calories to satisfy a normal person, low on taste, and very expensive. Last, most food today is not sustainably produced (five) due to political, geographical, and historical factors (for some political background see Pollan's latest).

This blog represents my quest as both cook and consumer to maximize "The 5". A major problem with having five criteria for a perfect meal is that it's hard to meet them all. Thus, some meals focus more on one food need than the others, but in general we're trying to balance all five. How are you balancing? Are you also an unfulfilled foodie? What are your "5" (or more? or fewer?)? How do you make it work?
Interestingly, there's a cosmically linked post from last week on another biology Ph.D. foodie's blog (The Accidental Scientist) about the importance of one of "The 5" (health, especially heart health) and balancing that with taste! It even involves a contest for good holiday recipes. Please check it out!

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