Sample English Paper on Food and Identity
The ability to understand and distinguish oneself from food arises from one’s food preferences, likes, taste, and favorites. Food forms a critical and important component of one’s personality and liking. Just like having a best hobby or preference, the type of food one prefers often gives a strong hint and a pointer to the type and kind of person in question. A given food choice and liking points to a strong aspect of one’s personal life, a hidden conception and a personal taste that goes beyond the usual liking or preference for a given product. Food forms an essential component of the human good, and a taste for a particular food does not only reflect on an individual’s inner craving, but also gives a clue of who or what that person is in general. Although it may be a final tip, it offers a way in which an individual can be judged, taken, and or made up. Foods not only satisfy hunger, nor quench a craving, but also reflect on personal taste and self-identity. For example, a liking for fish may point to one’s cultural respect for that particular food because of traditional beliefs. Amongst some communities along the river banks and water bodies, the liking for fish is often a pointer to the community’s cultural heritage and traditional knowledge on sea products or water foods such as tuna.
Over the years since my comprehension of my liking for fish, I have come to understand why within my community, Fish forms an important part of the diet. No meal is worth considered a full meal without a fish product in it. Our foods in all ways always have fish in the context of the entire meal. It is an established practice amongst my family members such that without a component of fish in a meal, such as a fillet, it may pass out less of a meal than is required. The practice of having a fish product in our meals started way back in the community’s love for sea products in which consumption of fish products was considered as providing medicinal value to the sick, giving strength to the weak and rejuvenating one’s immune system. The belief and conception of fish having a therapeutic value convinced the majority of the people to adapt the food into their meals each day (Davis 12). Traditionally, many in my community believe in the immunity and capability of fish to protect one of common body complications such as heart attack and stroke. Amongst my people, the elders thought that fish, especially salmon and tuna, contain the best fat based nutrients required for the body. Children and the elderly were often encouraged to ensure that they take fish at least once in a week. As a result of a healthy upbringing of children by consumption of fish based products in the community’s early years, many gradually adopted the practice and incorporated fish consumption into their daily meals. The elderly believed that the fish contained vital components necessary for brain development in addition to providing minerals and nutrients needed by the body to improve immunity (Davis 23).
According to medical practitioners, fish is important and has high-quality iodine, vitamins, minerals, and protein (Kothari 7). Additionally, fish high in fats have a high percentage of vitamin D and omega three fatty acids. These components provide improved immunity and reduced chances of disease infection. Nutritionists and medical practitioners maintain that eating fish at least twice weekly is necessary for the right of the body regarding protection and body growth. Expectant mothers have often been urged to take fish because of its high mercury content connected to brain development for the developing baby (Almerico 1). However, within my community, expectant mothers are often discouraged from taking uncooked or raw fish as many believe that it contains dangerous organisms that may cause harm to the developing baby. The elderly in my community found that daily consumption of fish would help the developing baby, develop healthy bones and high immunity to communicable diseases. Over the years, lactating mothers in addition to pregnant women partook in the consumption of fish daily to improve their chances of delivering an active, healthy baby (Davis 40). In most communities, fish remains a solid food with high ratings on its ability to help in the development of healthy bones.
In my younger years as a baby, I remember fish comprised of my daily food in which fillets and the soft tissues of fish, made up my diet every day. I came to identify fish as part of my daily diet; a practice that I believe made me who I am today. I have not abandoned the consumption of fish despite the fact that I have been introduced to several kinds and types of foods far much better than fish. I have grown up believing that fish provides a lot to the body regarding nutrients, supplements, and minerals vital to the well-being of the body. I have often gone ahead to include varieties of fish in my diet, fish that is not commonly available in my area or within my community. Conventional markets within my city have numerous malls that offer a variety of fish products and types, an opportunity that has enabled me to sample out several types of fish without fear. I have come to identify my eating habit first with my love for fish and second by my high consumption of the food without developing a negative feeling towards its taste or flavor. My preference and liking for the dish have not changed over the years, however, due to the large variety of fish available in the market, I have come to identify with particular fish, called Salmon. Salmon has good taste in addition to its high fatty content good for the body. Not only do I prefer Salmon because of its high-fat content, but I have also come to appreciate it as a nutritious food much better than other foods of the same category.
WINE AND MILK
Wine has a rich history in my community. Regarded as a drink of aesthetic value, wine has occupied a special place in many homes, in addition to standing out as a special drink for the elderly. Many consider it as the best thirst quencher with good medicinal value. Although it means different ideas to different persons, it serves the same purpose with the same traditional converting state. According to the elderly and individuals who uphold its value, wine remains the most important drink after water in many people’s lives. Within my community, it has given rise to a sense of collectivity, a sense of the common good, and a foundation of morality especially amongst the elderly. Wine is used as a measure of self-control amongst young adults, with the aim of bringing out the best in oneself and inculcating the best everyday habits that befit one’s age (Barthes 34).
The act of drinking wine in my community is for the pleasure of deriving the best out of a celebratory situation. While many may drink it for fun, drinking wine in my community goes beyond the act of seeking pleasure; it was a collective activity and remains so to date, a ritual that brings people together for the common good and well-being of all that partake in it (Barthes 23). It gave people the opportunity to keep together, share together, and bond in a special way. Not only did it qualify one to join the elite group of the respected in the society, but it also helped those who took it to analyze its unique blend and ornamental value appreciated by its lovers to date. Considering its taste and smell, wine remains a beautiful drink amongst its lovers, although its aesthetic pleasure is dependent on one’s culture, comparison, and knowledge.
In my community, red wine remains the most favorite and loved by many. Its unique red color is derived from the grape skins and the making process involved. Most people in my community prefer the Merlot and Shiraz, characterized by its light and medium red embodiment. Other varieties preferred by others include, the Super Tuscans characterized by its dark and powerful aroma (Barthes 43). Served at 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit, Super Tuscans are served hot to achieve a good taste. Additionally, many due to its vibrant red color and thick aroma love the Beaujolais Nouveau. Despite the numerous varieties available in the market, red wine remains the most loved in my community, although many people often try out other types of wines with the sole purpose of deriving pleasure and taste from several varieties.
My family appreciates the unique aesthetic value of wine due to the old age wisdom of the benefits of grapes. My family’s preference for the Pinot Noir explains the love of dry red wine, a particular type of wine served best while hot to bring out the good taste. Although my family members also prefer sampling out other types and kinds of red wine, it is the moderation and rate of intake that best gives one a real liking for the drink. Personally, I prefer Cabernet or Syrah due to their unique blending process and low temperature when served. I love Syrah’s high flavored intensity, in addition to its mild and comfortable feel in the mouth. While it also remains a favorite wine drink amongst many members of my community, its high price makes it, one of the most preferred wine drinks amongst the elderly.
Over the years, wine and fish have maintained a special place in my life in a way that was going without any of the two for an extended period may deny me great pleasure. Although it is not an addiction, it just remains a way in which my I express my identity and rediscover myself. Apart from the positive benefits of the two, I derive a lot of pleasure and aesthetic value of partaking them. I believe that they will continue to form a special place in my food requirement many years to come.
Almerico, Gina M. “Food and identity: Food studies, cultural, and personal identity.” Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies 8 (2014): 1.
Barthes, Roland. Quote; Wine & Milk. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013
Caplan, Pat, ed. Food, health and identity. Routledge, 2013.
Kothari, Geeta. “If you are what you eat, then what am I?.” Kenyon Review (1999): 6-14.