Food does make pretty much a lot of us happy. Is it weird? Well, sort of; but in a good way 🙂
Food is in a lot of ways source of healing. Have you ever seen the way Antony Bourdain talks about food? or is it Ree Drummond from the Food network with all the food porn she serves?
Food brings people of all kinds together. There is always a certain feeling of togetherness when people come together to celebrate with food. Have you been to a foot ball party to see how people just unite over food? Have you ever seen a nagging couple nag over good food? I watch Nollywood so much that, I know that when every fight between a couple ends, it ends with the question “have you eaten?” It has now become a form of apology
I remember how I came about this food thing. Apart from the fact that my mother is a retired chef, it’s personal for me. I suffered from depression a while ago and as you know, it’s sometimes hard to relate to one who suffers from depression; except you have been there. To some people it causes them to eat and to some it causes them to loose every appetite. And for me, I hardly ate at this period.
“well snap out of it!” that is the last thing to tell one who feels low and cannot see anything good in themselves. I have been there. Some will say, you better “grow up! and stop acting like a kid.”
In a continent such as Africa, depression is swept under the rug. It’s like a taboo to talk about depression not to even speak of a person going to see a psychiatrist. Well, one particular time in my life I found a passion in food. I promise the most I had cooked before then was jollof “supergetti” spaghetti with dry fish and over fried tomatoes…my brothers thought it was the biz…I guess they had no choice but to sit and enjoy their little sister’s cooking. I did not even know what cloves, coriander or what a calabash nutmeg was. You would think I grew up with a flare for food seeing as my mother was a restaurateur, a trained chef, and a caterer and my dad the owner of a bakery after his forceful retirement from his job at NNPC. Nigeria is corrupt sha!(Story for another day)
Now I can roll a morsel of food in my mouth and tell you at least 3 ingredients used in the making of the food. I can also pair ingredients in my head :)..totally genius!
In the midst of it all, I found food…a passion for food. Food I tell you, has a lot of healing properties. There is something about a well cooked and wholesome meal. I always say that food is not really the enemy, it’s our method of consumption that is the issue. There is something magical I feel when it comes to cooking. I also always say that it’s a privilege to see me cook and in my elements 🙂
Food helped to heal me, as it became therapy. It wasn’t so much in the eating, but the mere making of it did something magical for me. I could be making something as simple as noodles for my ajebutters and be absolutely joyful. Funny enough, while they eat I sit by them and ask “how is it?”…”good chef” they would reply.
I don’t know how I found this passion, but I knew I had to search within me for something that would heal my body, soul, and mind as I used to write and I did not feel like writing anymore. Now I can actually make curry…if you had asked me what curry was a couple of years ago, I’ld have given you the “are you crazy?” look.
I am not saying this post has a solution to depression as depression is a broad subject on it’s own…I feel one solution to depression is finding the thing that drives you positively. I had to find mine and I found a culinary beast as some of my friends would put it. Inside everyone of us, GOD has made deposits…find yours…find what drives you.
I did ask my friends about happiness and food and they had such beautiful things to share:
“I discovered the meaning of comfort food the day I had my son. My mother in law prepared this mean pot of white soup with chicken just for me. As I took the first spoonful, I felt the soup warm me down to my soul. Instinctively I reached for a book and realised I was in the hospital. I completely forgot the stress and pain I was going through and dug in heartily. That was happiness for me in relation to food.” Nene
“Ever noticed how love flows during family dinners or a cook out with friends and family? That’s the power of food right there. Ever wondered why we crave food from our loved ones, especially our mothers? That’s the power of soul food right there. Ever wondered why we come alive after chowing on a delicious meal? That’s the importance of food in our lives. Ever wondered why people from different backgrounds and cultural inclinations rush to like the pictures of your meals? That’s the ability of food to transcend beyond a kitchen. Point is, food is happiness. Food is love. Food is beautiful and food is life. Most importantly, jollof rice is Bae!” Ameen
“When I cook and I see the joy on a person’s face while he/she eats. It’s amazing. You feel like you have made the person’s day.” Amina
“It’s actually a scientific fact that food gives satisfaction and happiness. I love food, particularly well-made tasty food (I’m Nigerian and we know flavor!). It brings people together, is a conversation starter, an endearing factor (no wonder it’s recommended that you discuss issues with your better half over good food or in bed, lol) and it just feels good. It makes people happy in low times. Even kids can persuaded into forgetting their fuss over a treat. And yes, the way my dad concentrates on a meal I’ve prepared is bliss.” Nonye
“A nice cup of ice cream(cookiesandcream) makes d worries go away….. but for a moment…….hehe.” Adaeze
“Food is different from good food. Good food doesn’t just tickle your taste buds, it tickles you all over.Lol. Eating certain foods just makes me feel happy, I can’t describe it, it’s almost a spiritual experience for real. Watching someone eating something I made and them genuinely enjoying it gives me this sense of pride, cos it’s like they accept, approve and appreciate me through my food.” Chichi
“Whenever I’m depressed, the only thing that can make me forget about my worries for sometime is food. It gives me the assurance of always been there to comfort me even if nobody does.” Oluwaseun
“I’d like to comment as the passionate biochemist that I am.
According to a common saying, “you are what u eat”.
You are diabetic, have high BP, ulcer, obesity, sexual dysfunction, want to stay healthy and beautiful etc, they say diet counts.
Food can either make or mar you, so a good knowledge of food is vital for survival.
Food means the world to me, more especially the nutrients they contain.” Zainab
“The aroma of a delicious meal being prepared leaves me with so much happiness keeping in mind that the outcome would be excellent.Expecially when I can relate the different flavours being combined.As a child when food was getting ready my siblings and I would be so happy that we would go into the kitchen get hold of our spoons and plates while some would drum with theirs,some would sing and some would dance (usually my mum would smile at us and say “egwu nri”meaning”dance in expectation of food” 🙂 This is how happy we become because of food, and in a little while the food would be ready and everyone eats to their satisfaction and be happy and me personally love to go for a second round because I love food. :)” Anuli
“Food brings team work. One who eats alone can’t discuss the taste of the food with others.” Chika Okoye
“Oh eba oh eba when shall I see dodo ireti give us food o when shall we see ila and egusi we shall never forget kpomo
Excuse my neurosis haha #checkmate
This how food make me feel….like singing #FoodIsLife.” Chef Oluwaseun
Please leave us a comment and let us know what food is to you. Do you eat just to sustain yourself or do you make time to enjoy every bit of your meal. We would like to know if you relish in the cooking or eating and what the whole process means to you 🙂
Some body say Amen!
Images courtesy of @everydayafrica @yagazieemezi