Home » Why We Fight With Our Food: Maya Adam at TEDxStanford (Transcript)

Why We Fight With Our Food: Maya Adam at TEDxStanford (Transcript)

Maya Adam – TRANSCRIPT

I would like to tell you a long history of love. It is a love story between humans and food that feeds us.

We are born with innate love for food because it not only helps our survival but also gives us joy. Who can forget about the taste of ice candy on a hot summer day? Could someone who loves you on a cold day forget the taste of the warm soup you prepared for yourself? Through food, we learn where we come from, who we are and what we want to be. But like many other love stories, this is also a story of tragedy and betrayal. I got to see the betrayal at hand. A few months ago I saw a famous antacid commercial on TV, and my child’s mother came out to the birthday party. When the mother tries to bite the hamburger, suddenly the hamburger bites her.

Have you seen this ad? The hamburger literally starts to bite the face of this poor woman literally. And when it says, “When your favorite food bites you, you can bite it faster with this antacid.” I was shocked to see this ad. I learned from the medical school that the pain is a sense of protection to avoid damaging our bodies. But this ad is suggesting that we get rid of this pain medicine.

I am telling you to continue eating the food that hurts us. I also expressed the relation between human being and food that was originally a loving relationship by the relationship like “the war of the rose.” If you’re in your late thirties, you might remember this movie Catherine Turner and Michael Douglas came out, both of whom were good-looking women, and they seemed to have everything. But these two begin to fight.

They invest everything to fight. They fight with all their time, energy and everything they have. And they lose everything. Their friends, their careers, even the end of the movie even lose their lives. The dysfunctional couple relationship shown in this movie is seen between modern man and food.

We were intimate with the food. Even though we did not farm directly, we knew who was the crop, or at least where it came from. We had plenty of food and time. I tried to make food in the kitchen very sincere, to eat with pride, and not to waste food. And in return, food loved us.

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The food helped our children to grow and grow and helped us to thrive and be happy. But we do things that we can not be forgiven for our food. We are too busy to outsource the food. We remove nutrients so that we can be produced, processed, packaged, extended shelf life. After that, we add more sugar, salt, fat, etc, than synthetic nutrients, pigments, artificial flavors, and the amount we normally eat.

The livestock are trapped, overcooked, made fat enough to drink water, and are growing in a small barn for profit. Now, if you are food, do not you want to divorce? Is not it obvious that our food is hurting us? Is not it natural to see the rapid spread of obesity that has never been preceded in human history? This is a national threat. We are making our children the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Even though we have to deal with urgent problems, we do not improve our relationship with food, but we are fighting food with our time, energy and resources. In the battle against food, the target changes over time.

Over the last ten years, we have tried to get rid of fat from food. We are talking about sugar now. How sugar acts as a toxin, and eventually you eat only eggs and bacon, sugar should be removed from food. The consequence of the war on food is that people learn more about their food ingredients. But the way food is viewed as a collection of nutrients makes food look less beautiful.

We look at strawberries and think of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and sugar. In the meantime, you need to decide which ingredients to eat and which ingredients to reduce. It does not mean to blame. I have seen food in such a way for a long time. I used to solve my family’s meals in a convenient way too.

When a long day passed and I was tired and came home and the children were hungry, fast food was really comfortable, fast, cheap, and happy with my fantasy. But what happened a few years ago has completely changed me, and my relationship with food has improved. This is my second son Misha when I was two and a half years old I used this picture as a role play exercise for my Stanford students, and as students became doctors and I was a worried mother. My role was actually very easy.

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I usually do it ~ (three kids) She was on a rosy cheek, seemingly gentle, nutritious, well-developed. But when she was 3 years old she came to receive a checkup. Misha was sleeping, pale, and suffering from severe abdominal pain, but could not figure it out. Misha is still smiling. Children are very brave when they are sick.

And she could not even get up to play with her sister, she had to lay down for days. After eight weeks of testing, we were able to diagnose Misha as an autoimmune disease called ‘schistosomiasis’ for wheat and some cereal proteins, gluten. This is a picture of Misha after six months of gluten-restricted diet. Now, I’m not saying that gluten-restricted diet is a solution to all of our problems. We think we’ve seen too much that one nutrient can not be a solution.

Misha cried for the first 24 hours, 24 hours after being diagnosed, and I realized that I could make a choice I thought I could eat out Misha’s childhood and try new things at home. When I was a child, I began to remember food. When I came home from work, my mom roasted onions in olive oil and remembered the scent and the simple dinner. I began to imitate my mom and eat, and magical things happened.

Suddenly, the children started to show interest in the food I made in the kitchen, I wanted to make food together, I started to enjoy eating together. The children wondered where the ingredients came from, and they even tasted their own food that even the most demanding kids would never have tried. We look at the market together and try new ingredients and incense. I do not do food as a recipe, but it is easy so I can continue every day. But what I found is that the easier it is to cook, the faster it gets, and the more self-esteem I get in my food.

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They see food in different ways, and friends come to the house and try to make food from a variety of fresh ingredients. We realized that we were eaten healthily and enjoyed our food. I had to adjust my time. But I am so satisfied now, that I will never return to my former position. My family is sitting around with food and finally fell in love with food.

Looking back, my attempt has more to do with redefining food. It is not the question of what foods to avoid and what to eat, but the question of how much we enjoy and satisfactorily eat. I’ll introduce you to a funny story. Our children grew up in a multicultural environment. We celebrate Jewish holidays, celebrate Hindu festivals, and go to Catholic schools.

This is not all. Someone at school asked Misha: “Misha, do you pray before you eat at your house?” Then Misha shrugged and answered “I do not have to do that. My mom is pretty good at cooking.” Cooking really adds value to our lives. I want to share this with others. If other parents can learn these basic principles I’ve learned, I think they can change the way they eat. Stanford University supported my idea, and I helped open the massive open online cooking class. And this course forms a community of tens of thousands of parents around the world, sharing their recipes, and sharing their stories about the value of cooking in their lives.

One of the best stories I’ve ever heard is that a mother cooked dinner three times last week. It was three times more than the dinner we had prepared in the last six months. I would like to remind you today of one small fact. If you’re tired of cooking, or want to improve your relationship I can offer a better solution than any marriage counselor, and maybe you already have one in the kitchen sink. Do not think about what to eat, what to not eat, and any dish is good. Please make love.

Thank you!

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