Growing up my mom was the one that cooked dinner. My family hardly ever went out to eat except for special occasions. My mom never used a lot of processed foods because she knows how unhealthy they can be. Over the past few years I began to realize the biggest issues of most peoples diet is that they are eating at restaurants more often than they are cooking their own food. When you cook for yourself you are more likely to use more diverse foods. Now I know how lucky I am for growing up on a relatively healthy diet. The meals I ate normally had meat for the main course and mashed potatoes with corn or green beans on the side. I also had soups, chili, stir fry and a variety of other meals. My mom would go to the farmers market to get fresh and locally grown food which has been a good influence on myself. I was a very picky eater growing up and still am today so my parents stressed out when I refused to try a variety of foods. Today I am more open to try new foods.

My mom is good friends with a woman from Vietnam who taught her how to cook some meals such as pho and pad thai. Eating these meals really helped to open my liking to diverse foods. Pad thai is definitely my favorite meal but it is always better when it’s served in its most authentic way. When I go to Thai or Vietnamese restaurants usually the food doesn’t seem to be completely authentic. I find it very exciting to try foods from different parts of the world. America lacks a lot of diverse meals and instead steals the ideas of meals from different countries to try to make up for the lack of diversity we have here but America still manages to decrease the amount of authenticity to it. Canned foods lack the flavor of what the food would taste like when fresh. There are chemicals added to preserved food to increase the flavor because the flavor of the fresh food does not last for very long. I don’t like how many grocery stores lack diversity of food, but grocery stores like Whole Foods and The Fresh Market and wonderful places to get better diversity of food. I feel better when I eat something new and different especially when I know it’s good and healthy for me!

Caitlin Davis

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