To me, good food refers to food that is high quality and satisfying. It’s something that can be categorized by these traits but also has many more meanings.
What is good food?
Although it is hard to narrow this down to a few simple parts, I am convinced that good food falls into two categories. A term like good food is already quite vague and it refers to much more beyond some categories. But, I hope to explain some of my perspective and share my thoughts on it.
I believe that good food of high quality refers to food that uses high quality – unprocessed, fresh and nutritious – ingredients to create an equally high quality end product. A perfect example of this might be a scratch tomato sauce; especially if using fresh tomatoes rather than canned. Scratch tomato sauce contains less additives and fresh ingredients resulting in a far tastier and nutritious sauce than its distant cousin Ragu. But good food isn’t just limited to these factors.
It can also refer to something delicious or tasty. Ideally this version of good food will also fall into the category of high quality; better ingredients generally yield a better end product. But since “tasty” and “delicious” are subjective, that may not always be the case. My perfect example of a satisfying good food would be ice cream. It would be made from scratch using local ingredients and purchases to create a delicious treat that also featured its prime ingredients and their producers. But to some, maybe Ben & Jerry’s fills this category; that’s okay, either way – homemade or store bought – ice cream is satisfying good food.
This idea – “Everyone is entitled to good food” – is very similar to the concept of food security. According the United Nations, food security is defined as “the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious foods…” But at its core, this component of my food philosophy has two supporting ideas.
Food is something beautiful and sacred and deserves to be shared. Everyone should be able to partake in this regardless of physical, economic or social position. A fantastic dining experience – both the service and the food – is something amazing and should not be reserved to the individuals willing to spend excessive amounts of money; and it’s starting to become more prevalent in places across the planet. Now in even the tiniest corners, like Rushford, Minnesota (population 807), these exciting experiences are created from excellence.
Additionally, good food has the potential to connect people, promote growth, inspire ideas and recall cherished memories. Hundreds of years ago, during the tobacco harvest season, slaves and owners would gather at the same table to partake in a feast – barbecue – to celebrate the end of the harvest. Stigmas of racism that normally dominated everyday life were thrown out the window as this delicious repast connected two unlikely groups and cultures.
One of my fondest memories of good food dates back to my childhood. As a surprise treat to go with dinner, my mother would make pasta salad. This wasn’t anything fancy but it sure was delicious. Now, anytime I have my mother’s pasta salad, it brings me back to memories of family time around the table and the wonders of being a kid. If good food isn’t shared with all it inhibits these possibilities.
No one should live their life without some access to good food. It opens new doors and creates fantastic opportunities. This tenant of my food philosophy is one of the reasons I strive to create delicious and memorable experiences for my consumers. Our world has many not-so-great parts, but I believe food can rekindle a kind and loving world while it provides a guiding light for all; I believe everyone is entitled to good food.