When I recently learned of Blog Action Day 2011, I knew I had to participate. Especially since this year’s topic is so near and dear to me: food. It is, after all, what I write about all the time.
Blog Action Day gave a list of topics, in case anyone had a hard time coming up with an idea. And I have to say, there were some excellent options on there. But I needed to get more personal.
Because, let’s face it, food is personal. It is an expression of not only our unique tastes, but also our experiences. It brings people together and helps them to make ever-lasting memories. It is intricately woven into our lives, part of the fabric that may, over time, become frayed, but always stays with us, a treasure to behold. Whether it’s the pie grandma used to make every year before she passed away or the cookies you made with your mom every Christmas, the breakfast you father made every Sunday morning or the first breakfast your kids made for you, it is a part of what makes you uniquely you.
By extension, food is life, both for the body and the soul. We gain sustenance from it, no doubt. We also seek it because of the way it makes us feel. Some would say this is the wrong thing to do, but I beg to differ. Just like the smell of a rose or a skunk will evoke different reactions and emotions, food is hard-wired to our emotions as well. Denying this is an act in denying yourself, which is never healthy.
I’m not saying that when you get dumped by your boyfriend, you should go eat a bag of fun-sized Butterfingers. But, just like food makes us remember, it makes us feel differently, too–other than bloated from too much or weak and testy from too little. Comfort food. Mac and cheese and soup in the winter. Fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the garden in the summer. Pumpkin and apple in the fall. They’re familiar in their cyclic appearances, year after year, and in small ways, they make us happy. We look forward to them. We revel in them when they’re available. This is to be celebrated!
This is why I write about food. This is why I enjoy baking. Because food makes people happy. Whether you’re sharing your knowledge of food, or sharing the food itself, there’s just something about the process that is one of joy. (Unless you’re denying yourself… then it’s one of suffering. Which I’ve been there, too, trust me. And to me, it’s just not worth it.)
So here we are on Blog Action Day 2011, sharing our thoughts on food with the world. Food: something so universal. Something that brings us together. Something that also brings us apart, because there isn’t enough of it to go around.
While I am lucky enough to be able to bake these delicious desserts and broadcast them across the internet for people to feast upon focally, there are so many more who can’t even get the sustenance part of the equation covered. Home and abroad. Down the street and around the world. Everywhere.
I may not be able to hop on a plane and get down and dirty helping with the famine in Africa–I do have two small children to raise back here, after all–but I can still help. Some time ago, La Casa de Sweets contacted me for support with her recently-formed charitable project, Bloggers Unite for Africa. I had the fundraising widget in my sidebar and made a donation. I didn’t have much to give, but every penny counts. Unfortunately, I had to take the widget down when I recently changed my blog theme, as they don’t play nicely with each other. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care–or that I’ve forgotten.
So for Blog Action Day 2011–which happens to coincide with World Food Day this year–I’m asking for your help. A cup of coffee you would have bought at Starbucks on Tuesday. A fast food meal you would have purchased for lunch on Thursday. A dinner out with the family on Saturday. Something. Anything. Because it’ll mean so much more to those in famine-stricken Africa, who don’t get to experience the joy of a meal shared with family–and they should. It’s a small gesture that can mean the world to someone. Sharing food–sharing love. That’s what it’s all about.