I should start out with the fact that I’m not trying to go on a rant or a tirade, I’m more just trying to understand and start a conversation. I keep coming back to why I care and put so much time into this space. I’m trying to figure out where I go from here, what battles I want to fight, and what really matters the most. What I’ve come to realize about food blogs is: I love the ability they have to inspire and (hopefully) show that getting into the kitchen doesn’t have to be frightening, time consuming, or a thing you hate.

Here’s the thing- whether you eat vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or meat/potatoes kind of diet, it doesn’t matter to anyone but yourself. Too often I hear/read, “Oh, you eat vegan” or “oh, you eat paleo” and you can just tell it’s in that condescending voice that he/she thinks the way you eat is stupid or wrong.

I eat what I love to eat and most of all: I cook it myself.

Call the aforementioned diets “fads” if you want, but what I see is more and more people getting into the kitchen, cooking, and realizing the power of food. At the end of the day whether you’re cooking a beef steak or cauliflower steak, you are taking a step away from processed foods and that’s awesome.

In this country, we are going the wrong direction when it comes to our corporate food system (most recently I read a quick article that there is a proposal to let dairy companies put sugar-alternatives into milk and NOT label it). We let big business persuade us through targeted advertising and misleading facts about how “healthy” or “nutritious” their product is for you . This article from the New York times about the junk food industry or this article about sugar from Mark Bittman begin to scrape the surface of the larger issue we are facing. We’re letting processed foods/big businesses get away with feeding us crap. In fact, we’re paying them to do it.

And here’s the truth: they will continue to do it for as long as we continue to buy it. It is our job as consumers to be well informed and educated about our purchases. There shouldn’t need to be government oversight on what we can/cannot purchase in relation to food. We should do that for ourselves.

Next to water and air, food plays a rather large role in sustaining us and yet so often we turn a blind eye to where it comes from, how it’s produced, and what kind of things go into our food. We take so much for granted. We all have to be advocates for food we eat through the purchases we make. We need to get into the kitchen and take a serious look at what we’re putting into our bodies.

It is time to love your food.

Here is what I need from you: I’d like to know what helps you, what inspires you, and what you would like to see more of on this site. I’m excited that soon I’ll be heading to Indy to hang out with Alex and Sonja from A Couple Cooks who are starting a new initiative called The Healthy +Whole project that aims to inspire more people to get into the kitchen. I’ve already started brainstorming and can’t wait to talk more with them about how we can help make a difference.

And seriously, so much love to everyone who reads this site- I would give you all big hugs if I could. Your comments, your recipe adaptions, and your stories make this space a better place.

(On a side note, if you are new around these parts and wondering why I care so much, you can read my post on diet, self-efficacy, and honesty).