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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.