Saturday, May 5, 2007

You Are How You Eat

Yesterday at 4:00 pm I stoppped by a random, non-descript Indian bakery and cafe. The establishment was shady at best, but when I compared it to some of the places I ate in Malaysian, it seemed immaculately clean, so I gave it a shot. Despite the dingy yellow walls, dirty everything, and employees' struggle with English, I ordered some flat bread that I remembered was amazing, and a few other things off the menu.

As I waited, for about 10 or 15 minutes, I started to think about what had compelled me to trust this place. Nothing came to mind, because, I realized, I didn't really trust it. I was just willing to take the risk of gross dirtiness for the however small chance of amazing authentic ethnic food.

How do we decide what to eat? Do we only cook if we like to cook? Or is there some personality trait that would make one person choose Lean Cuisines 9 times a week, while another makes a salad or tuna sandwich? Sure, personal preferences inform our decisions of how to spend our time and meet our basic needs, but when I consider my friends and family, I can trace their habits back to aspects of their personality. I don't consider "liking cooking" as a personality trait. However, I think "liking cooking" is linked to other personality traits. For example, of all the extremely driven, assertive people in my life, none of them spend much time cooking.

Food for thought--how does how we eat reflect who we are? Any thoughts?

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