It doesn’t matter if you’re a clean-eating vegan or the type who thinks a balanced diet is holding a cookie in each hand, food is a central part of life for everyone. It’s a topic with unlimited potential to spark interesting conversations, and not just about what we eat.

We wanted to explore the roles that food plays in our lives, so we set out to ask some questions—ones that went beyond, “Hey, what you guys want for lunch?” What we came up with were several stories that each look at a different aspect of the roles food plays in our lives.

From Jessica Santina, we have a story examining how parents can set their kids up from a young age to be lifelong healthy eaters. Kelsey Fitzgerald wanted to look deeper into food insecurity in the Truckee Meadows and ended up finding On Common Ground, a non-profit working to get food to people who often don’t even have kitchens. Matt Bieker spoke with a woman who decided to maintain her vegan diet throughout her pregnancy, despite some naysayers who questioned whether or not it was healthy. And for my part, I talked with a human development specialist about all the things kids can learn by getting into the kitchen—from language skills to math skills—and how parents can get the ball rolling.

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