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Chef’s Corner: We Eat What We Are

by Adriana Katekawa, Culinary and Education Directo

It’s that time of the year again! Families gather together for Thanksgiving and other holidays, where food is often central and connects everyone around the table. 

We often hear the phrase “we are what we eat” but to honest “we eat what we are” has always felt more truthful. Food choices beyond nutritional needs. We also incorporate cultural aspects and affective memory from family relationships and from the environment we live into what we call “meals”.

Thanksgiving rituals are a great example of that. On this day, family and friends reunite with the feeling that they are part of a certain group with its own traditions, recipes, stories…and what is nice about rituals is that they always include some novelty, like an added guest, new stories, new recipes to accommodate preferences and restrictions. 

Emotional connections are created around meal times and can influence food preferences for life. Understanding this relationship, EatWell recipes don’t start in the kitchen, they begin in the community. Speaking to local residents helps us to understand the ingredients, flavors, and dishes they like. By delivering ingredients that are familiar, and dishes that are meaningful, we serve up a story as much as a dinner! This makes healthy eating more accessible and accommodates the unique taste preferences everyone is entitled to.