Introducing...Eat Collective: Food for Thought with Humans on the Street
Ever since I met my now-best friend, Megan Beck, in graduate school for nutrition, I knew we were meant to work together in some capacity. Every day, Megan would excite and inspire me with her vibrant passion for holistic nutrition and cooking. We connected over the power of delicious food, both the wholesome kale salads and the buttery croissants, to tie and bind families, friends, lovers, and the world. After nearly a year of mulling over different project ideas, we came across the idea for a venture that brings together so many of our loves: photography, food, nutrition, recipes, and people.
So here we are, Registered Dietitians compiling stories of what food means to you as an individual. This project stems from our belief that food should be celebrated for its cultural, communal, and nourishing qualities. We have noticed that our current food environment places good or bad labels, counts calories, and shames entire food groups. We believe that all foods should be respected at the table and want to share your honest relationship with food and why it’s meaningful to you.
We are setting out on a mission to share these stories of culture and community from strangers (and new friends). Each week you will find us out in a new neighborhood in Portland - or beyond - connecting with others over our favorite subject: food. We will document the conversations on both of our blogs, as well as our Instagram page @eat_collective.
These are your stories...your favorite recipes from grandma's worn and weathered cookbooks...your thoughts on the current food climate...your path to personal balance and wellness...your life in food.
And we could think of no better place to begin this journey than at the Portland State University Farmers Market, a mecca for local, sustainable food and one of our favorite places to spend a sunny Saturday morning.
“Growing up we always had Passover at my parent’s house, and my Bubbi always made really good matzo ball soup. We had Passover at her house one time when I was three years old, and they fed me parsley because parsley is like part of the tradition…I threw it up. So at her house I don’t really have fond memories, but at my parent’s house, when she would bring the soup and it would somehow still be hot and she would make the matzo balls all fluffy and like I don’t know how you make them. That’s my memory.”
“I cook a lot of like random food. I like to get food here, and I make it. Random stuff I find on Pinterest. One that I made lately that my professor said was good, because I brought it into a class party thing, was coconut flour chocolate chip cookies. I have a friend who’s gluten-free so she could eat the cookies. I’m going to make those for some more friends tonight. “
“So as I’m about to eat my vegan pizza, my favorite food memory is actually my great-grandmother in Alcoa, Tennessee – going to her house and her making Southern food like creamed corn and fried chicken. Real Southern food loaded with fat like Crisco, like the worst kind of fat you could ever need”
“She would make buttermilk fudge too where the humidity had to be just right and it couldn’t be raining…it was just family recipes."
“My grandma loved collecting recipes though, and she would have these little recipe cards. And my sister has them since my grandma passed away…and still has that buttermilk fudge recipe. She tried to make it in the rain though, and it didn’t work. We thought it was just a legend, but that humidity really does make it hard to get right.”
“My father would say to my mom, ‘Do you want to stop for ice cream?’ Well, I figured out what ice cream meant, so then they tried spelling. They started with "ice," and I figured that out pretty darn quickly.
Is ice cream your favorite dessert to this day?
“Yes, I have two favorite places for ice cream…Ruby Jewel and Cool Moon on NW Johnson and 11th, right on the street car line”
And favorite flavor?
~ Georgia and Megan ~