Up & Coming Weekly

June 21, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 5 of 28

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JUNE 22 - 28, 2022 UCW 5 ere are many reasons why we eat what we eat. Obviously, we eat when we are hungry; we also eat when we are emotional or to socialize with our friends. Certain smells, aromas or the taste of a particular dish evoke memories of meals past. Definitely, the link between food and memory is a powerful one. Food becomes a travel machine that transports us to a moment in the past where we en- joyed ourselves in a time/space/food continuum. Food memories engage all of our senses and are easily triggered. However, some of us purposely en- gage in what I call "cognitive eating." Cognitive eating goes beyond food memories or mere emotional eating. We all have to eat to survive (biologi- cal eating), and we also tend to eat foods we are accustomed to or with which we are familiar (cultural eating). People eat at different levels: to satisfy hunger, quench a craving or evoke a memory. When we eat, pleasure and reward sensations are activated. How- ever, when we eat culturally, the food and the act of eating take on a cultural context, and the reward is different. When biological and cultural eating come together, we have cognitive eat- ing, which has a deeper purpose and reward. When seeking, cooking and eating authentic food from one's country or ethnic enclave, they engage in cogni- tive eating. Foreigners are not the only ones affected by this type of eating. Americans seek types of food they grew up eating in their native state or community. But, their culture is still ubiquitous. For people born in other countries, it is a different story. When I asked Luz Velasquez, born and raised in Santo Domingo but residing in the United States, if she craved and sought her native cuisine, her eyes grew in size. She prefers eat- ing and cooking Dominican dishes for many reasons. "I seek my native food because it is part of my identity," she said, "part of my DNA!" Of course, eating the food her grandmother and mother cooked evokes child- hood memories; however, she says that "When I eat my native food, I am remembered about my roots and how important staying in touch with my history is for me. If you do not know where you come from, you do not know where you are going." Velasquez also stresses the importance of teach- ing her son about Dominican culture, including native food. "You cannot separate culture and food; they are one," she says. When asked how important is authenticity for those engaging in cognitive eating, Rebecca King said it matters. "It is very important," claims King, born and raised in Germany now a resident of Fayetteville. "I am always on the lookout for authentic German food because it reminds me of home, which I miss." ere have been many discussions about authenticity in the culinary and food studies fields. Some maintain that authenticity is essential in helping future generations understand tradi- tional cuisine and food habits. Others claim that authenticity is archaic in today's global food scene. To this foreigner from Naples, Italy, and others like me who engage in cognitive eating, authenticity is that umbilical cord that connects us to our motherland. We human beings love to give each other wisdom and advice, wanted or not. Parents are eager to offer our thoughts, and I write that as a proud sharing mama. It is especially gratify- ing to hear the words I know were mine come out of the mouth of one of my Precious Jewels; they believe it was an original thought. At the same time, it is annoying to realize I have done that with my mother's words and probably still do. at said, I do love to read other people's pithy — or maybe not — words of wisdom to others. Recently an email from something called e Technium landed in my in- box offering "103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known," written by Kevin Kelly on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Up & Coming Weekly does not give me enough space to share them all, but I will provide you with my favor- ites — just in case you feel the need for wisdom from someone you don't know. Here goes in no order at all. "About 99% of the time, the right time is right now." "No one is as impressed with your possessions as you are." "Don't ever work for someone you don't want to become." "If you stop to listen to a musician or street performer for more than a minute, you owe them a dollar." "Anything you said before the word 'but' does not count." "Criticize in private. Praise in pub- lic." "It is the duty of a student to get ev- erything out of a teacher and the duty of the teacher to get everything out of a student." "Immediately pay what you owe to vendors, workers, contractors. ey will go out of their way to work with you first next time." "e biggest lie we tell ourselves is 'I don't need to write this down because I will remember it.'" "Handy measure: the distance between your fingertips of your outstretched arms at shoulder level is your height." "ere is no such thing as 'on-time.' You are either late, or you are early. Your choice." "You'll get 10 times better results by elevating good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior, especially in children and animals." "When checking references for a job applicant, employers may be reluctant or prohibited from saying anything negative, so leave or send a message that says, 'Get back to me if you highly recommend this applicant as super great.' If they don't reply, take that as a negative." "Denying or deflecting a compli- ment is rude. Accept it with thanks, even if you believe it is not deserved." "To keep young kids behaving on a car road trip, have a bag of their favor- ite candy and throw a piece out the window each time they misbehave." "You cannot get extremely smart people to work hard just for money." "You will be judged on how well you treat people who can do nothing for you." "Take the stairs." "It's thrilling to be extremely polite to rude strangers." "For the best results with your chil- dren, spend only half the money you think you should, but double the time with them." "Actual great opportunities do not have 'Great Opportunities' in the subject line." "When introduced to someone, make eye contact and count to four. You'll both remember each other." "If you loan someone $20 and you never see them again because they are avoiding paying you back, that makes it worth $20." "If your opinions on one subject can be predicted from your opinions on another, you may be in the grip of an ideology. When you truly think for yourself, your conclusions will not be predictable." And, finally, this. "e chief prevention against get- ting old is to remain astonished." OPINION MARGARET DICKSON, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Mama knows best by MARGARET DICKSON NADIA MINNITI, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Cognitive eating goes beyond food memories by NADIA MINNITI Photo courtesy of Pexels Left: Fried squash blossoms from Nadia Min- niti's garden. Right: Authentic Neapolitan pizza created by Nadia Minniti. Pizza is baked in a woodfired specialty oven traditional of Naples, Italy, her hometown. (Photos courtesy of Nadia Minniti)

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