Our universal experience

by Christina on May 9, 2011

“Food is our common ground, our universal experience.” ~James Beard

Traveling helps me appreciate how important food is in connecting us to one another. When I may not be able to communicate in words, I can usually communicate through food.

No language barrier when laughing at my (lack of) tortilla-making skills.

While food is fundamental to our lives, we have somehow become more and more disconnected from it. This became terribly obvious to me after spending time at CATIE in Costa Rica (sustainable agriculture institute) when I could not recognize basic foods in their raw form.

These are foods that I eat ALL the time, yet I only know them in their packaged and processed forms (pathetic!).

Like this, for example:


Or this:

Good in both my coffee and sweet potatoes.

Or this:

In lots of processed foods... I consume way more than I would like.

And this (easy):

How cute are they?!

OK that’s it for now — can you name them all?!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris palmer May 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t name any!


Emily Douglas May 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm

GREAT point…It’s scary to think of all of the foods we eat every day that we can’t recognize in their unprocessed form! If I hadn’t been with you, I would have guessed: 1) coffee 2) a plum-relative (although you would have interesting coffee tastes 🙂 3) some sort of spicy peppers and 4) olives. Ouch!


John May 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

all raw foodest should know #1! #2 is guessed well from your hint, had no clue what #3 is, but think i found it, and #4 grows on a tree outside my house in india between feb. and aug., yum!


Christina May 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hi John! What do you think #2 and #3 are?! Tell me!


John May 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm

my guesses would be nutmeg and pejibaye?


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