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Eating In, a series examining food and food culture in New Hampshire, ran May 17-21, 2010.

Food Choices without Judgment

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Virginia Prescott, left, at age 9 with brother Steven, sister Margaret and brother Mark

It's been a lot of fun around NHPR as we prepped for "Eating In," our weeklong food series. People talk about food with a kind of excitement you don't always hear when discussing things like public policy. Yes, we all know the narrative: food brings us together. It puts us all at the table. It serves up a metaphor of nurturance. Its smells and flavors and rituals trigger memories and provide continuity in our lives.

Food is connected to our emotional lives, and increasingly, socio-economic status. It's now the poor who are more likely to be overweight, and the educated elites who are starting to farm and raise and butcher their own animals. As we become conscious about food supply and safety and rituals this week, I'm thinking about the choices we make as well as the limitations many people feel in choosing the food they eat. We'll be looking for your thoughts as well, about your food traditions, revelations and rituals, and how do we get beyond the self-righteousness and judgment that characterize so much of our political and uncivil discourse these days.