The Rise of Foodie Culture

Here’s another theory I have for which I have done no research. Food tastes better than it used to. Not a huge revelation, of course. People value food that is locally grown, organic, or heirloom/heritage. Cooking shows have turned the whole world into knowing gourmands, debating the ratio of salt and fat in every dish. But why?

My theory is that the ban on smoking in restaurants and the overall decline in smoking cigarettes has restored our senses of taste and smell, and we are again able to appreciate the flavor of good food. When I was a smoker (from 1992-2000, roughly), my attitude toward food was “eat to live,” and aside from a few comfort foods, the only tasty food I appreciated was well-spiced, like Italian, Indian and Thai food. Once I moved to California, it was much easier to stay a non-smoker, especially because 2000 was the year that smoking in restaurants and bars was mostly banned. The food was better not just because the ingredients were fresher, but also because I could smell and taste the food without the obnoxious smoking odors of my fellow patrons. Now I like food so much more (and weigh easily 20 pounds more than I did when I moved here).

MEMOIR WRITING PROMPT: What bad habit did you once have and how did it improve or impede your life in some way?

A word on the ten-minute timer concept: A friend said that she felt like writing about what she knew (or more specifically didn’t know) about her birth would take more than ten minutes to write, and I’m sure that’s true. You should take all the time you need to write your story. But don’t let a shortage of time prevent you from writing something. Even ten minutes a day will get you where you want to go if you do it consistently.


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