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Five Ways to Be a Conscious Foodie

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Food writer, blogger and podcaster Addie Broyles shares her tips for how to stay mindfully connected to food.

By Hannah J. Phillips, Photo by Courtney Runn

Addie Broyles is more than a food writer. Now celebrating her 10th year as a columnist for the Austin American-Statesman, Broyles is also a blogger, podcaster, quilter, founder of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and mom of two. She balances current issues in the food industry with an appreciation and nostalgia for traditions of the past, creating a holistic approach to reporting on food. Her mission is not just to inform her readers about food, but also to help them connect with it—and to stay connected herself. Here are Broyles’ top tips for staying connected to food at home and in Austin.

Be aware of the connections between food and your personal life. 

“I think you bring wisdom into eating by fostering an awareness of how what you eat reflects your own personal life. Think about what you value around food: that it keeps you going at work, or that it’s how you celebrate with family, that it’s something you reward yourself with or enjoy making and buying. When you think about those values and divide up your day or week accordingly, it flips the process from a scarcity mentality to an abundant mentality. If you’re not super satisfied with something going on in your personal life or your food life, examine your routines and see how the two are connected.”

Be intentional with the restaurants you choose. 

“If you value supporting the local economy and local farmers, you’re going to visit restaurants that support those things. If you care about workers and living wage, you’re going to tip 20 or 25 percent. If you care about infrastructure, you might ride-share or take public transportation to get to the restaurant. So, let those values drive that purchasing decision. Think more holistically about the restaurant business beyond that one point of sale.”

Don’t just consume food; consume thoughtful food media. 

Racist Sandwich is an amazing national podcast [that] digs into all of this. Eater does a great job with their podcast. Listen to anything around cultural appropriation and understanding the nuances of what cultural appropriation looks like in the food industry.”

Try new things to support local makers. 

“If you see a new product on a menu—a new sparkling water or a new kombucha, a baked good or jar of salsa—you can support those local business owners. There are a lot of mom-and-pop brands that could really use those sales!”

Be intentional around the dinner table at home. 

“Like yoga, cooking is a practice: It’s important to build new muscles and condition the ones that you have or you lose that connection with yourself. Find new ways to get a creative spark. Go to the library for a new cookbook. Try a new grocery store, a new appliance, a new spice. Part of the joy of food is that you can have a good conversation over it, so recognize that it’s a special space and not just another hour of your day.”

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