Enjoyment and Contemplation

table full of foodNow that food has become an object of discourse rather than a taken-for-granted necessity, it has also become the focus of myriad ideological crosscurrants—vegan vs. vegetarian vs. carnivore; paleo vs. rawfoodist vs. low-carb; debates about GMO’s, sustainability, global hunger, etc. But with all this controversy, we risk losing sight of what is important about food—the pleasure of eating. So I very much like this short essay by Miriam Ava:

Here’s the thing, though: If we become too invested in, or even obsessed with, our food choices we lose sight of what’s really important: that we feel good & enjoy life. If one focuses on counting calories; if one takes in the pain of others endlessly; if one constantly evaluates how this or that ingredient impacts the body; if one restricts oneself to the point of Puritan approval; if food has an overwhelming grip on one’s mind no matter one’s desired diet, then its offering of nourishment & enjoyment has been replaced by stagnation & fear.

I doubt that there is any meaning to life beyond the full experience of it. And that requires the maximum enrichment of our everyday activities. All objects we encounter have a kind of eloquence about them that we are obliged to recognize if we seek this enrichment. Our food is no exception; indeed food may be the most readily available source of this eloquence since the enjoyment of food is so accessible to us—all you have to do is eat with full awareness, a capacity we all possess if we can eliminate the distractions.

Of course a life of contemplation and awareness cannot ignore the moral questions that concern us. But when the table is set it is time to focus on what is before us.

Enjoy your day.

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