Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Food Quotes

Food and words and words and food. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s a combination I prefer. Maslow coined food as one of the most basic human needs. Yet when do words come into his famous pyramid? Do they enter in the layer just above bodily function called safety which includes things like family, employment and morality or are they contained in the middle ground of love and belonging where we see friendship and intimacy?

tsakshaug flickr creative commons

tsakshaug flickr creative commons

Regardless, there are a great many things written and told about food. So much so that it is a basic defining cultural element and builds what we have come to know as a food heritage. Here are ten of my favorite food quotes:

1. “I think it could plausibly be argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion. The Great War, for instance, could never have happened if tinned food had not been invented. And the history of the past four hundred years in England would have been immensely different if it had not been for the introduction of root-crops and various other vegetables at the end of the middle ages, and a little later the introduction of non-alcoholic drinks (tea, coffee, cocoa) and also of distilled liquors to which the beer-drinking English were not accustomed. Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market-gardeners.”  – George Orwell

2. “You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.” – Kurt Vonnegut

3. “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”  Julia Child

4. ” To be interested in food but not in food production is clearly absurd.” – Wendell Berry

5. “You can do a lot for your diet by eliminating foods that have mascots.”  - Ted Spiker

6. “Let things taste of what they are.” - Alice Waters

7. “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright

8. “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein

9. “What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?”  – Lin Yutang

10. “Let us pray for those who labor by day to put food on our tables and often go to sleep hungry at night.” – Cesar Chavez

This post was inspired by a group of friends in Ohio at Lettuce Never Squash Our Love.

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49 Comments

  1. Thank you! what a great way to start my day before heading into the kitchen. Great inspiration!

    Reply
  2. Sage Dillon

     /  November 9, 2013

    I just looked up a favorite food quote for a friend recently arrived in Paris and already back from the market with cheese:

    “How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?” – C. de Gaulle

    Love your choices, especially #9, which is new to me and packs a lot into a few words.

    Reply
    • I haven’t heard that quote before but it’s lovely and it does remind me of something terribly French.

      Reply
  3. Lisa H

     /  November 9, 2013

    Wonderful quotes! I tried picking a favorite, but they each are perfect in different ways: funny, thought provoking, sincere, nostalgic.

    Reply
  4. Wonderful quotes and topic, Tammy. Food is one of my favorite things about daily life. The variety of tastes and textures adds interest to our days.

    My faves: 2, 7, 8. And 10 is quite thought provoking.

    Reply
    • 10 is quite thought provoking especially in my part of the world Nancy where we are absolutely dependent upon immigrants to harvest our crops yet we lack a sufficient guest worker program to get it done. We need more homage to farmers and laborers.

      Reply
  5. Here’s one I wrote down at yesterday’s local food summit at the University of Dayton:
    “Eating [I will add–locally] is job creation and economic stimulus in your local economy.” Brian Raison from the OSU (Ohio State University) Extension office

    Reply
    • I like that one Kirsten and I try to live it. We’re having our Local First Fall Festival today and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

      Reply
  6. Great quotes!

    Reply
  7. Quote number 5 is my favourite! Definitely, people love to talk about food xx

    Reply
    • #5 makes me laugh out loud! And, isn’t it true? I was thinking about food mascots (Tony the Tiger?). Maybe I will have to do a future post on this very issue.

      Reply
  8. Great quotes, I say. Thanks for sharing, Tammy. 😊

    Reply
  9. Here’s one I heard recently from Charles Eugster, a 93-year-old bodybuilder and athlete. He gave a TEDx talk about aging well and the emcee asked him afterward if he hoped people would now go snack on fruit instead of the cookies. This was his response:

    “What I can say is that if Adam had refused the apple and instead eaten the snake, the world would be a lot different.”

    Reply
  10. You always find the best things for us to read and think about and often cook and eat! You have me thinking of that short quote . ..you are what you eat! It will help me stay away from junk food . . .Thanks Tammy!

    Reply
  11. That last quote is so good powerful! Great choice of quotes Tammy :)

    Reply
    • It’s especially poignant in the area where I live. We are so dependent on migrant workers to accomplish the harvest.

      Reply
  12. WENDELL BERRY! Sharing on the Hot, Cheap & Easy FB page!

    Reply
  13. I love a good quote, and you’ve given ten, each wonderful in its own way. Thank you!

    Reply
  14. Great stuff! Food is indeed near the base of Maslow’s hierarchy; without energy our machine grinds to a halt. Words might fit in anywhere! As social creatures we share information with one another about everything on the hierarchy, even (and sometimes especially) those vital things on the lowest level.

    All of the food quotes above have special meaning, but Ted Spiker’s “You can do a lot for your diet by eliminating foods that have mascots” struck me as the one with the widest potential for positive change. Transitioning away from processed foods, back to fresh, raw produce and spices and making our own food sounds like a tremendous boost for local economies, food systems, a variety of health issues, environmental concerns, energy use, and animal and human welfare issues. Then, Wendell Berry comes into play: “To be interested in food but not in food production is clearly absurd.” Once we stop eating food processed by machines in huge bulk with unpronounceable chemicals and packaged in plastic thousands of miles away, we will have to learn about something scary to a lot of us: producing food ourselves!

    Just finished reading “Plenty: Eating Locally On The 100 Mile Diet” (Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon), a very down-to-Earth accounting of one couple’s launch into a local diet. That left me inspired, feeling like a lot is possible if we just try.

    Reply
    • My first really big inspiration into food and localism was hearing Gary Nabhan on the radio where he was discussing “Coming Home to Eat”. I was spellbound and since that time have become a good acquaintance of his. He also did the 100 mile diet and it was enlightening for me.

      Reply
  15. These are awesome quotes, Tammy, so glad you shared!

    Reply
  16. We are lucky, aren’t we! We can dream, shop, cook, eat and not go hungry at night!

    Linda

    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

    Reply
  17. Lovely! Food for thought (I couldn’t help it).

    Reply
  18. Beautiful selection of quotes! I especially like #s 1, 4, 6, and 8. :) In German, there’s a proverb: “Essen hält Leib und Seele zusammen”, meaning “Food / eating makes body and soul stick together.”

    Food can be translated into German as “Essen” (stuff to eat), but I prefer the more substantial term “Nahrungsmittel” which literally translated is “means for nourishment”. Also the German word for diet – in the sense of what you usually eat and drink – is “Ernährung” (nutrition), whereas “Diät” in German refers to a restricted eating schedule in order to lose weight or avoid allergy or intolerance foods. So the word itself tells what food should actually be: something that fosters your bodily existence, but not something you eat for mere pleasure or an energy kick. Many people have forgotten that, but if they just looked at the word they could remember it.

    Reply
  19. Author Jane Ward

     /  November 11, 2013

    Love the ones you rounded up. One I think of every time I go into the kitchen: “No one who cooks cooks alone.” I always feel a strong sense of connection to family when I cook and this quote by Laurie Colwin sums it up.

    Reply
  20. Food warms the heart and inspires it to seek life’s adventures. A blessed day friend.

    Reply
  21. A restaurant we go to has food quotes stenciled on their domed ceiling. Warm & witty food thoughts do make for a lovely ambiance!

    Reply
  22. I love all of these quotes, and will share a silly one, just because.

    “Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”

    Reply
  23. Excellent article Tammy – fascinating quotes. — Dan

    Reply

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