It's Not Just About The Food

A tribute to Anthony Bourdain


photo by lori antoinette

It has taken me a few days to come to terms with the news of Anthony Bourdain's passing. One that I am sure was felt in your core and made you wonder . . . What?........Why?

Such a great human – one who dedicated his life to food, travel and television. Who would have thought someone like Bourdain was suffering with a loneliness that led to depression.

Travel and Food – not a bad life, I always thought!

But then again it comes down to "It's NOT just about the food!

You see, there is something that I was taught at Nutrition School (IIN) from my teacher Joshua Rosenthal - "Primary Foods" Beyond food, we are also fed by the energy in our lives. These moments and feelings demonstrate that everything is not about food. We are also nourished by the thousands of experiences of life that can fulfil us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – these experiences I like to call 'primary food'.


Anthony Bourdain in Tobago: Photo by lori antoinette

We hunger for play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure, and spirituality. All of these elements are essential forms of nourishment. The extent to which we are able to incorporate them determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel.

Food really is just one source of nourishment. It does not give us joy, meaning and fulfillment. When we use food as a way to alleviate or suppress our hunger for primary food, the body and mind suffer. Depression and loneliness is just one of the consequences.

According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 300 million people globally suffer from depression. Eleven percent over the age of 12 take anti-depressants, and their use is on the rise throughout the world. Many also experience frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness, and isolation. These conditions and emotions are all cries for primary food, but instead of giving ourselves what we really need, we often turn to FOOD for comfort and solace.

The problem is that substitution does not work. If you are not getting the primary food you need, eating all the food in the world won't satisfy your hunger.

Take a moment and see what primary food in your life is missing and how can you fulfil that need!

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