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'Thinking like a Gastronomist' - Writing about eating...


armaanbindra93 1 / -  
Sep 19, 2011   #1
I need somebody to please proofread this essay for me and give some feedback on it, also don't be shy to suggest a better title...

Here is the prompt:

We have eaten tens of thousands of times. In this essay, I'd like you to reflect on your eating - how you typically do it, when the act is more than typical, what it means to you, why. I'm not asking you to write an essay about food(which is a huge topic), as much as an essay about meals and the personal significance they have for you. Embed briefly your thoughts, when you can, within the social and cultural significances that the act of eating may have.

Write 1000-2000 words, and put a word count at the end of your essay. Be precise and concise.


Thinking like a Gastronomist
Every Saturday of the week my immediate family, which comprises of about ten people, or at least those of them that are in town get together at my maternal grandparents' house for lunch to eat the mouthwatering delicacies my adorable grandmother prepares. This is a time that I cherish a lot and would look forward to everyday at home. It is a time when I get to chat with my relatives an I get to chat sitting around the dining table and share stories, whether they are full of joy or sorrow. My family and I get to bond and strengthen our relationships. However, this is merely a single meal out of the 21 that I consume within a week that I actually care so much about. Most of my other meals are completely arbitrary, I squeeze them in the terse moments I find out of my busy life; eating them purely signifies my need to fulfill my nourishment requirement so I can keep on living, this is the way I eat since I am coerced to do so by society in order to survive in this highly - competitive world.

As a student, in college, I have an incredibly hectic schedule all the time. I set my alarm and wake up in the morning just at the right minute so I can successfully get ready and reach class on time. I am not an early riser simply because I have so many things to do that by the time I get to bed it is already well past midnight and so my sleep is already short-lived so waking up early would just make me fall sick. Consequently, I do not have enough time, most mornings in the week to eat breakfast at all. Lunch is a meal that I occasionally get the opportunity to enjoy when I have a generous gap between my classes and nothing else to do. Although most times you will see my run out of my class, grab a packed lunch and head to my room. Where, I am struggling to get my homework done and simultaneously eating, because I feel that it would be a big waste of time to sit flat on my backside and only gormandize a whole lot of food when I could get something more productive done along with it. This leaves me to talk about my last meal for the day. Dinner is a very important meal to me because I get to often, except when I have to go for a meeting or am actually working in the cafeteria, sit with my friends, may it be for a short spell, and share our experiences for the day while enjoying a good meal. Yet, this dinner cannot be paralleled with my Saturday family lunch as the atmosphere in the cafeteria, countless individuals walking around choosing what to eat and then looking for a table to set there tray and have a seat at, promotes the Stav dining hall as a place to promptly eat your food and depart. On the other hand, at my grandparents' house, my family restfully digests their food and conversations go on virtually forever, until somebody notices that the sun is starting to set. The reason behind the fact that most meals today are nothing like my family lunch, but instead are analogous to my quick lunches or brief dinners, is explained well through a quote by Wendell Berry in his essay The Pleasures of Eating, "Life is not very interesting, we seem to have decided. Let its satisfactions be minimal, perfunctory, and fast." This quote adequately sums up the philosophy that operates my daily life and that of most other students and constantly busy people such as me, of which there is an abundance of around the globe today.

I make the concerted effort to make sure I eat at least a little food everyday because I know for a fact that if I do not eat, I will not be long before I starve to death. It is simply something I am obliged to do by nature in order to keep my body functioning and carry on with life. I do not often make plans to eat for the pleasure of good tasting food. The flavor of the food is secondary to the nutrition that it provides me. As long as I can get my food effortlessly and do not have to worry about anything else I get satisfied.

I am bound to take up this way of thinking by society. There are actually children in the world today, as mentioned by Carlo Petrini in his novel Slow Food Nation, "who eat chicken nuggets but have never seen a live chicken and don't even know what one looks like." When the world has come to such a stage it is nearly impossible to keep track of the source of the food we daily eat. I have lost control over my choice and to prosper in my endeavors I have to move along with everybody else. I want a lucrative future, which is the epitome of a good life as a lot of today's youth will tell you, and to get to this lofty goal I need to get into a good grad school, for which I need to take up tough classes in college. Nearly all of my time is occupied in an attempt to accommodate these classes, thus, plummeting the amount of time that I spend doing unnecessary things that do not directly contribute to my goal such as eating food for solely for pleasure. Another contributing factor of society that encourages me to think of food as nothing other than a necessity is the packaged food industry. The leaders of the food industry only believe in making money for themselves, thus, they promote instant food products to make it easier for us humans to get our nourishment without lifting a finger and spending too much time thinking about the food, and the food industry can bring in the dough. Wendell Berry states in his essay The Pleasure of Eating that "they do not yet offer to insert it, prechewed, and into your mouth is only because they have found no profitable way to do so." Therefore, till people and organizations continue to have an avaricious mindset, eating will persistently reduce in importance and would soon reach the status that passing stool and urine have in our lives.

l_borras 2 / 3  
Sep 20, 2011   #2
Every Saturday of the week my immediate family, which comprises of about ten people, depending on whom is in town gather at my maternal grandparents' house for lunch to eat the mouthwatering delicacies my adorable grandmother prepares.

This is a time that I cherish and look forward to participating in everyday at home.

In general this is a good essay with a nice story, but try to shorten sentences similar to what I did in the first paragraph. It will flow better and sound more formal.

Also, try not to use too many abbreviations such as 'till', which is in your last sentence.
Something else to look at is the proper use of their (as in belonging to someone; their food), there (as in location; over there), and they're (short for they are). I saw those misused though I still understood what you meant.


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