July 5, 2012
Food for me means love. My grandmother “mama” is a woman of very few words, she hardly tells me that she loves me, but she cooks for me, ALL THE TIME. Her food expresses love more than any Shakespeare soliloquy or hallmark card. Whenever I’m sick, there she is with her sopa de pollo. On my birthday she makes my favorite, pastellitos de carne con papa! Holidays means, panes de pavo and many other delicious family favorite dishes.
Growing up with my mama’s home cooking was essential to me becoming who I am today, it not only made me feel loved, but taught me a lot about my cultural heritage. That’s why when I realized the difference between organic and non-organic food, I felt as if a part of my childhood had been tainted. How is it possible that some foods are better than others, why is it allowed?! Food is essential to all humans and to deprive some of healthy choices is to deprive them of a human right.
I remember the first time I brought up the whole organic topic with my grandmother she giggled and said, “I know, in El Salvador, everything is fresh and natural, I even picked some of my own fruits and vegetables. The chickens, lambs, and cows only ate grass and vegetables, none of that fake corn!” It was at that moment, that I began to be a much more conscious buyer, and now my grandma and I enjoy purchasing organic and visiting local farmers markets. And to be honest, the love in her food is still there, it just feels a bit more stronger and sustainable.
Bianca Molina is an activist artist. She acted in Cornerstone’s production of CAFÉ VIDA this past spring.