The Forgotten Celebration of Food

Read time: 90 seconds

I believe in food’s rich symbolism, its joy shared with family and friends. I believe in food.

To deprive ourselves of food is to deprive ourselves of the essence of culture. I believe it’s enriching to be obsessed with the good things that food represents, and I even believe in being obsessed with good food.

But I don’t believe in being obsessed with eating.

A lean and healthy body is achieved and maintained partly through good eating habit, not obsessed eating.

Eating in cars, eating at the computer, eating with the television, and eating while walking are all mindless acts originating from our culture’s obsession with eating.

We eat around the clock, we eat because we’re told we should eat, we eat because we’re convinced we need to eat, we eat simply because it’s “time” to eat.

We eat because food is now fuel to keep us operating in a world that doesn’t stop to experience the taste, texture or delicacy of meals.

As even chaos forms patterns, we’ve progressively formed a lifestyle that ceases to see food as an enhancement to the crucial time in which we sit with friends, family, or ourselves to reflect patiently on and experience deeply all of life’s rich sensations — those things to which we’ve become numb as we choke down a chocolate-flavored protein shake, or the imitation plastic within plastic “flavored” to taste like something our grandmother used to make with her hands.

5 years later we turn sideways in the mirror and realized we’ve gained 10 extra pounds. So we blame it on age, blame it on a slow metabolism, and buy clothes that hide the soft underbelly of our eating obsession.

Food has become an automated process, a weapon to fend off the irrational fear of starvation, of void, of boredom. Food is the victim of our eating obsession.

All this, while forgetting the fundamental importance of food: the celebration of family, friends, life, and of good food itself.

Put the greater meaning of food back into food, and there might be hope.

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6 Responses to The Forgotten Celebration of Food

  1. Casey Adams says:

    Johnny, one of your best posts. Thank you for continuing to share great insight and advice.

  2. Al says:

    Very true. We need to start taking food seriously; something that I need to focus on.

  3. Greg Linster says:

    Wise words Johnny! Eating slow and enjoying your food is a beautiful thing.

  4. Kat Eden says:

    I think the worst thing is when you indulge in a big treat meal or social night out but do so without really thinking about it or being mindful about what your eating. In some ways we seem to be programmed to eat as much as possible as fast as possible (which makes sense from an evolutionary perspective I guess), and it can be tough to re-wire those old patterns. But so worthwhile!

    • Johnny says:

      Yep, we’re wired to scarf. But what a shame it would be to not pay attention to the flavor while we’re doing it!

      You brought up a good point, Kat, that I’ll have to add. For the reason that we’re programmed to eat nearly uninhibited, intermittent fasting is a viable option.

      It’s hypothesized that our ancestors feasted when they had food and fasted when they didn’t. This might have been the reason for the “feasting” programming they developed then as a survival trait and we suffer now as a gluttony… a result of continuous access to industrial food.

      Best,
      Johnny

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