It’s not about the food | Ryan Hutmacher | TEDxVail

It’s not about the food | Ryan Hutmacher | TEDxVail


Translator: Reiko Bovee
Reviewer: Denise RQ It’s not about food. This may seem ironic
because my mission as a chef is to educate, entertain,
and inspire wellness. From cancer support centers
to corporate wellness programming I blend culinary arts with nutrition,
and I teach conscious cooking, as a remedy for personal health. To put this into the perspective, we don’t need morbid statistics; what we need is more time, and as much time as possible
with people that we love. Before we take care of others, we need
to learn to take care of ourselves. That became apparent to me when I was at my physical
and mental worst about 10 years ago, and it was an aha! moment
in a doctor’s office when he went to prescribe
the same medication that my grandfather was on at that time
in order to treat my ailments. Something about this didn’t feel right,
and I knew there had to be another way, and there was. For the last 10 years I’ve been focusing
on real food as the key to changing lives, but after a thousand of cooking classes
and cooking demonstrations in front of thousands of people, I’ve had a profound realization. It’s not about food. Food is just a medium, but the experiences that I create
with it, this is my art form. See, when I gather a group together,
and we cook healthy food, that’s not the only thing that happens;
I engage them in creative activities, like story telling, trivia,
even role playing and acting, definitely not any Oscar nominations,
but we are working on that. But through these interactions, what’s amazing is
people’s walls come down, and I create a connectedness that happens
through compassion and creativity, and this is where perspective
starts to change. Isn’t it ironic that we live in a time
where communication is instant? Yet some of us are the most lonely,
and isolated, and even disenfranchised we’ve ever been? When we cook together, it’s what we learn about each other
that helps us rediscover ourselves. This is community, and with this, we don’t just nourish our bodies,
we nourish our souls. Isn’t that enough to justify the time
and effort that we complain about to prepare a home-cooked meal
with our friends or our loved ones? And better yet, isn’t this enough
to justify passing up the drive-thru, at least one time in a week? When we are in groups, there’s an instant support
and accountability that happens, and it reminds us
that we are not stuck or bound to the lifestyle we are living right now, and it’s never too late
to reinvent ourselves. Cooking and the food that it yields is the oldest form of communication
in the world and it transcends all barriers, political, social, ethnic,
and especially, language barriers. In a time where there’s
so much conflict in the world, there’s a lot to be said
about the joy and the generosity that come from a simple meal
prepared in good company. So what could we learn about this? Well, for starters
it’s not about a magic bullet; it’s not about an all-or-nothing diet, and it’s certainly not
about doing it on your own. As we move forward, and we take on more global challenges
relating to health and the food, we need to take back our health together,
and we need to do that in the kitchen. It’s not about the food.
It’s about people. Food does have the power
to change lives, but not by itself. It needs an instrument,
and that instrument is us. Thank you.

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