Eating is something I take very seriously – and so is the concept of memory. Yet in spite my love of eating, I often have a hard time remembering what I ingest – even just a day or two later.
I moved in with an old friend at the start of September and we have been having dinner together most nights – but with time I began forgetting what I had cooked. Knowing my love of data collection, he suggested I start writing our menus down. In college I studied history, and the intersection of memory and record is really fascinating to me. In this case, how does the concept of enjoying a meal change when I can’t recall it without the help of notes?
I began tracking our dinners, but soon enough that expanded to jotting down all my meals, snacks, and desserts. At that point I realized, why keep this to myself when I could share it with the world through twitter?
This step changed the process for me. What began as a way to remember personal experiences, became a willfully public statement about my food decisions. Knowing that someone – anyone – could see what I eat has begun a curious change in my behavior. I have always eaten well, but now the pressure is even greater. Social pressure, though silent (and potentially non-existent!), made me want to strive to eat well.
Once I had begun down this path, why stop there? Looking at my consumption is interesting, but then I realized I could bring the analysis further by bringing in how much all of this cost. I keep pretty good track of my finances, so I began pulling numbers.