Food for Thought
Women and Food

What woman doesn’t love food? Maybe there are a few out there but I do not know them. Our specific tastes vary widely, though chocolate seems to be a common denominator for most of us. So why is it that women are so connected to food? I do not think there is a simple answer to this question, but a few theories come to mind. One irrefutable fact of our lives is that food is something we are dependent upon simply to stay alive. Especially for infants, food is one of the primary sources of comfort and pleasure and this seems to remain true throughout our lives.

As women, we are intimately and directly involved with food every day of our lives. Within the traditions of most cultures and the gender roles assigned to men and women over decades, even centuries, women’s role has been to prepare and serve food to her family. In the past, this consumed an enormous amount of her time and attention, especially if her family was large. With the advent of modern conveniences, such as pre-packaged food, microwave ovens, and the enormous variety of restaurants for almost any budget, women’s relationship with food changed. Women started having the option to spend less time making food and more time eating and enjoying it!

For some women, food is in good balance within their lives and psyches; for others, it assumes an exaggerated or compulsive quality. This becomes a life-long struggle for many women. Food is often the easiest and most available form of comfort and gratification in a woman’s life. We sometimes see food as our best friend and other times as our worst enemy, or we can see it as both at the same time. Learning to enjoy food without being controlled by our relationship to it is the key to a lifetime of health and eating pleasure. Let us talk about how we get there.

Questions to Consider:
1) How would you describe the history of your relationship with food? Has your relationship with food changed over the years?
2) Do you view food as your enemy? As your friend? Or as simply a functional necessity of life? What meaning did food have in your family?
3) Do you consider yourself a “foodie”? Do you enjoy cooking?
4) What types of food do you enjoy the most and which do you find distasteful?
5) What kind of struggles have you had with food and where are you with those struggles now?

All rights reserved © 2020 Beth Firestein, Ph.D. Wise Women Group