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Armenian Food Culture

In constructing a pyramid for the Armenian diet, we should place two basic types of foodstuff at the base of the pyramid: one is vegetative, and the other animal and fish based. The vegetative foodstuffs have two sources: collection of wild plants and agricultural cultivation. The animal and fish based diet also have two components: one is game and the other animal husbandry and fish farming.

Both the consumption of food and its production are dependent on climactic conditions and geography. Climate will determine seasonal preferences, while geographical locations determine not only hunting practices and the collection of native plants but also the conditions for the cultivation of vegetative foodstuffs as well as for animal husbandry and fish farming.

In classifying the food system to construct the food pyramid, we must consider the complex nature of the food we are examining and not be limited by misconceptions that calorie counting alone should determine our basic nutritional needs. The classification should be comprehensive and include the source of the produce, its complex structure, growing conditions, the distance between production and consumption, the method and timing of its transport, as well as its preparation.

There is an interaction between living plants and human beings as each affects the other. It is important to understand that our normal physiological functions depend on the health of the plants around us that give us our energy. Even if we consume all the calories, vitamins, fibers, fats, carbohydrates, etc. that are essential for our body to function normally, does not mean that our system will necessarily function normally or be healthy. This is one point that recent scientific research has ceased to consider; that is, that life is a FORCE that is combined with certain kinds of matter and will, in turn, give LIFE.

In conclusion, the characteristics of Armenian food culture have developed for millennia and remain up until today. Based on a study of written and verbal sources, as well as field investigations, we have found it practical to design and illustrate the character of Armenian food culture through an Armenian food pyramid. As a basis for this pyramid, we looked at the entire structure of foodstuff, as well as the frequency of use and food portions. In so doing, we consider most useful food as desirable. The purpose of drawing this pyramid is to show, and to help us understand, the connection between what we eat and who we are.

Armenian Food Pyramid

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