Introduction to the Evolution

December 8, 2011 § 2 Comments

My name is James Davidson, I live in Portland, OR, and I have been working in restaurants for about 8 years. I love food and travel, and learning about other cultures. As I get older, I’ve become increasingly interested in sharing my experience and knowledge with the people around me. This blog is a way for me to share my interests and experiences easily, and, if you find something interesting or helpful while reading, it is an easy way for you to share it with the people you know.

I titled the blog “The Evolution of Eating” because I feel like we are at a time in human history where our eating habits are producing negative consequences physically, psychically and environmentally on a large scale. We need to address these habits collectively by reevaluating our diets and our overall relationship with food. We must get closer to the source, and embrace the process of nourishing our bodies. However, when the topic of cooking and diet comes up, many of the people I know talk about how hard it is to cook, or how they can’t cook, or how they are forced to eat terrible fast food because they are too poor.

I hope to challenge both the myth that cooking must be difficult and that it is expensive. It is certainly possible to get carried away with cooking projects that spiral out of control – I do it constantly, but, for me, this is enjoyable. However, there are ways of cooking food simply that still yield delicious results. And if you know how to shop, cooking at home can be one of the smartest financial decisions you can make.

Lastly, my contention is that there aren’t people who simply can’t cook – there are only people that don’t cook. Get me on a basketball court or hand me a saxophone, and I’ll look like a fool. And although I may never transform into John Coltrane, I can get better than where I am right now.

Cooking, like any skill you wish to improve, requires patience and practice. If you have never really cooked before, I guarantee you have some glorious failures ahead of you. It’s happened to me on many occasions (if you ever meet my wife, you can ask her about the first time I tried to improvise Indian food!) The important part is that you not get discouraged by these failures. Laugh it off, and if it’s absolutely inedible, there is a time and a place for a quick meal at the drive thru. Don’t worry. You will get better as you go. The best thing to do is relax, and allow cooking to become part of your personal care. Crack a bottle of wine or beer and enjoy making some good food at home. The idea isn’t to torture yourself. It’s to live better.

My goal here is to write about a wide variety of topics – some abstract ideas about food and culture, some general tips on good cooking techniques, and some recipes that are specific, informative and easy to follow. In my mind, this is my contribution to a cultural conversation, so I’d love for you, the reader, to share any experiences, insight or inspiration, so that I can provide the most useful information possible. Enjoy, and welcome to The Evolution of Eating.

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