CreativEating

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10 Commandments of Food?

A Quora member recently asked, if there were ’10 Commandments of Food,’ what would they be? The one with the most votes (over 250) I found relatively delightful and also puzzling. (you can find the original post here) What are your thoughts? Do you agree or perhaps (scandalously) disagree? Is there a list on that post that you prefer? So here they are…

  1. Honor what you use. For every piece of food, every ingredient, every vegetable, slice of meat, herb, or spice, someone had to work, an animal had to die, trucks, vans, trains, and boats had to move. Every celery stalk and every pork loin has made a permanent impression on this planet. Honor the men and women who worked for your food, the animals who had to die for it, by giving everything the best treatment, thinking about how you can make it better, and by not wasting or throwing away food items.
  2. Don’t lose touch with your food. Tongs and other contraptions only serve to keep you away from it. Losing touch, figuratively and literally, yields worse dishes. Touch your steaks, your salad, everything. Learn how it feels, smells, looks, and tastes.
  3. Try something new every month. Follow foreign cultures and preparations. Your life will be richer and your food better, even when you’re preparing common staples.
  4. Before you use the tool learn to do it with your own hands. Buying a julienne peeler is nice and can save you hours over the course of a lifetime. But only by learning how to cut, mash, grind, sear, saute, and whisk with your hands will you keep touch with your food and get the best results.
  5. Cook for others. Enough said.
  6. Use fresh where possible, canned where necessary and frozen when desperate.
  7. Taste everything. Repeatedly.
  8. Let your food items come to room temperature before throwing them into pans.
  9. Work clean and clean as you go.
  10. When cooking, taste. When baking, measure.
I do have a few things…. of course… to say
#2 & #4 
There’s a lot of food touching in here for my germaphobe friends. I do appreciate the sentiment, and part of touching is part of #1’s appreciating. Especially with meat. Meat is something we get so creeped out by in modern life but if you eat it, you should touch it. Wash it, season it etc with your hands. But this also creates A LOT of hand washing to touch my steak and my salad… so careful with all the touching.
And seriously, I don’t think I’ll be ‘searing’ or ‘sauteing’ with my hands… because I don’t like being burned in a fire. I’m not sure what tool other than a simple spatula would make this easier. Mashing by ‘hand’ I’m guessing is w/ a simple mashing tool rather than beater etc. which does make better mashed products (rather than potato puree) But the cooking ones? Just confused. Though seriously — julienne-ing something is a pain the butt. I would love a julienne peeler. (feel free to sponsor this purchase please)
#6
I also, personally, think he has #6 wrong. I’d go “Use fresh where possible, frozen where necessary and canned when desperate.” Canned food loses nutrition and gains salty flavors often. I wouldn’t touch a canned green bean or pea to save my life. But frozen? Frozen peas are lovely! Bright green, nutritious, delicious. I’m curious as to what foods he things can better than freeze actually…. I can’t think of any.
#8
I never do this. I should, but I VERY rarely do. Sometimes with butter and eggs… but usually not.
#9
Really? Work clean is one thing, cleaning as you go sucks the fun out of it and makes me manic. And if you cook, you shouldn’t have to clean!
#3, #5, #7 & #10
YES, THESE.
*Other Favorites from Quora Answers*
Embrace failure.  It’s the only way you learn what not to do (for the next time).
Never fry bacon while you’re naked.
Cooking isn’t just for the ladies!
Fat is flavor. Do not fear it.
Be ready and willing to improvise.
Open a bottle of wine (don’t cook without a glass).
Savor your leftovers!
*My Additions*
11. Take joy in the creative process of cooking and the service to others of the food you prepare. There are few (if no)  things more core to our existence than creativity, food, and community.
12. If you can’t cook, learn to make 5 things you’re really good at in order to participate in your family or community, and in order to be more self-sufficient.
13. Accept compliments and suggestions graciously
What are your objections? What would you add?
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4 thoughts on “10 Commandments of Food?

  1. Don’t be afraid to spend all day cooking something every once in a while. Doing something complicated and slowly is how you become a better chef.

    Never rush the sauce.

  2. Caitlin on said:

    The only canned items you’ll find in my kitchen are tomatoes and beans. I know dried beans are more nutritionally dense, but the whole soaking process is just too time consuming. The only items I let come to room temp are items for baking when it’s called for. I agree with Julian to occasionally spend a great amount of time creating a meal, although it certainly blows when it doesn’t turn out as good as you hoped.

  3. Wow. I totally agree with you; #6 is terrible. Fresh is generally good, but we don’t need to fetishize it. The person who contributed it must live somewhere without seasons. I’d take canned tomatoes over out of season fresh tomatoes any day. And their frozen v. canned claim is totally backwards. With few exceptions, the frozen ones are always better. You can’t put canned green beans in a stir fry. Or maybe you can, but I don’t want to eat it. Frozen beans, on the other hand, taste as good as fresh ones after cooking, and you don’t have to wash or trim them. And frozen peas on salad are a family tradition. So tasty.

  4. I really like number 1. As someone that likes to eat meat I think it is important to recognize that something died. Also, in some cases I need to try and avoid food that was created by abusing the animal.

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