What’s for dinner? In this series, meet Northwest Floridians and find out how their dinner plate looks different than yours and why. From the gluten-free Huwa family to the vegan Holliday/Browning family, find out what factors determine our diet.

I’ve spent half of my life thinking about what I want for dinner.


OK, that’s dramatic.


But, I have put a great deal of thought into what will end up on my plate every night — and I’m not the only one. How many times have you asked your co-worker, significant other, friend or family member, "What’s for dinner?"


I can hardly think of a better conversation starter than food.


We all gotta eat, right?


Lately I’ve been thinking about food from a different perspective. As I’ve recently made some changes in my diet, it made me think about how other people’s eating habits are so different from my own.


RELATED: GLUTEN-FREE FAMILY - Read how they do it and why


In asking my friends, family and colleagues, I discovered everyone’s dinner is unique to them. Some of the answers were cereal, leftovers, pizza, a sandwich, tofu tacos — even popcorn — the list is long and diverse. It was almost never the same dinner I was planning, and I was determined to find out why.


I realized several factors determine what’s for dinner: health, ethics, socioeconomic status, culture and lifestyle.


Some people follow a strict diet to stay healthy or because of a health condition. Some choose to eat a certain way because it feels right from an ethical standpoint.


Some buy more cost-effective groceries because they have to feed many people. Some cook only the types of foods they were raised eating. And some, well, they eat what is convenient.


While there is no right or wrong way to eat — at least not one that everyone can agree on — there is a reason behind the food choices we make. I hope you will find that reason as fascinating as I have.


I interviewed multiple Northwest Floridians about what their dinner looks like on a regular basis and why. Throughout February and March, I will present my "What’s for Dinner?" series, in which I share their stories.


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