From EIC, Laura Kosann

All last week, I was trying to figure out what an appropriate story was to publish on Independence Day. I was positive most people would be at BBQs, or on trips, so really: What does one write about on a day when not many people are reading? I suddenly thought about what Independence Day meant, and how proud I was to be an American. It sounds pretty cheesy – and I know that’s actually a music lyric – but right now I’m a strong believer in the fact that the world needs a bit more cheesiness.

It’s why the Broadway show Hamilton is so important: That show brings us all back to the unquestionable notion of the melting pot that this country is based on. It’s why I love living in a city (in a country, at that) where cuisines from every place around the world can truly be considered American cuisine.

Nothing has the ability to bring people together, and make them gather, more than food does.

I’m delighted to be a food-oriented person – not just because eating might just be my favorite pastime, but because eating my way through cities in America can give me a window into the world.

When you’re eating, you forget all the nonsense that’s outside of the table. When you’re at that table you and your peers can be as different as can be, but if you’re sharing a spectacular meal it’s the most powerful sort of common ground.

When you’re eating, the instinct to shut things out can become the instinct to let ideas, people and cultures in.

When you’re eating, boundaries can be nearly impossible to make or keep track of, because too many differing ingredients blend together so perfectly, and who can pay attention to differences over a satiating plate of something?

When you’re eating, taboo topics or controversial differences give way to scintillating discussions and polarizing views being challenged, whether it’s because of the red wine and dizzying carbonara, or the fact that each guest wanted to stay two hours later than they’d planned.

When you’re eating, one person doesn’t have to be wrong or right, because perhaps you cooked the perfect meal together, and that in itself is right enough for one night.

I’m not here to make proclamations, lecture, or dole out opinions: We all have Facebook friends that are doing enough of that for us. I’m here to celebrate cooking and eating and everything related to food. At a time when everything changes so quickly and there are a lot of negatives, it’s the one positive I know will always stick around and make people better.

Read more from Laura on the truth about leftovers, or check out the time she did a juice cleanse