By understanding our own food choices and the significance of food in our own lives, we can gain a clearer understanding of ourselves.
For myself, I was born in South Korea and I lived there for the first 19 years of my life. This was very important to how I feel about food because the culture there is very focused on food as a way of bringing the family together and expressing honor and love to each other. Food is a very important way that the mother can express to the father, the elders and the children that they are important. In South Korea, it is still the elders who are most important in the home and so they are always the ones who get the best helpings of food. As a small child, if I got the best helping, I would feel very, very special, like I was the most important thing to my mother and the one she loved best.
My mother always made sure we had enough to eat when we lived in South Korea. One of the things she made for every meal was Kimchi. Kimchi is a kind of food that is pickled vegetables that have been seasoned to be very spicy. I love to eat Kimchi because I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day back at home. It makes me feel happy to think about spending time with my family and sharing meals together. Another kind of food that I like to eat because it reminds me of home is spicy soup. Like Kimchi, it was a kind of food that my mother would serve every day. When I eat these kinds of foods, the spicy flavor reminds me of home and the heat makes me feel very loved.
Since I came to the United States, though, I have learned more about proper nutrition. I learned that a lot of spicy foods are not good for the body and that salt intake should be kept low. The kinds of food my mother made were great-tasting and ensured that we had plenty to eat all the time so that we felt loved, but the nutritionists in the United States indicate that it wasn’t the