Food & Drink

Cynthia Lair's TED Talk On Being Present With Food: 'How To Cut An Onion' (VIDEO)

'I have no idea what I'm going to do with this onion -- but I trust it will be something good.'
01/10/2013 09:06am ET | Updated December 6, 2017

"I swear, that if you go over and you taste your pot of soup -- and you pause, and you decide if it needs more seasoning or not -- the soup notices."

That's what Cynthia Lair, author, organic food evangelist and cooking instructor is really getting at, in her TEDxRainier Talk "How To Cut An Onion." She also teaches you how to cut an onion, so don't worry, you're getting what you pay for. But what Lair really wants to discuss is how being present when cooking our food makes it taste better.

It's hard to say how a concept like this gets discovered. All of us who love to cook kind of understand it, but Lair found a way to distill it into verbiage, as well as to teach other people how to do it. She did it by instituting a period of silent cooking in her cooking classes, and asking her students to notice where their thoughts took them during that time. Think of it as meditation via polenta. As Lair so aptly states, being in touch with the food you are cooking makes you less likely to inhale ingredients your body doesn't want or need, to eat like a human rather than a garbage can.

This video has helped us articulate something in our brains that we've known in our guts for years: when you care a little extra about your food, it tastes better.

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Onion Recipes