Welcome to my musings on home, health and hearth in the light of Christ.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eating for Pleasure

I was watching a video a friend of mine posted on Facebook, and the video brought up a fantastic point.  No other country in the world nutritionalizes food the way we do.  Americans spend so much time and effort focusing on the little facts and figures in an attempt to eat as healthy as possible, and in the end we have failed.

Obviously, I want to eat healthy, and I try my best to feed my children foods that are as nutritionally dense as possible.  But have I forgotten what other purposes there are behind eating?

In other countries, eating can be considered a sacred thing, either for religious reasons or community or familial ones.  It brings people together, it brings us closer to God and closer to the places our food comes from.  We should take on an attitude of thankfulness, but we should also take pleasure in our food.

Standard American fare is now so comprised of fat-free, sugar-free chemicals it can only barely be called 'Food'.  We try desperately to gain the appropriate pleasure from it, and like an addict end up eating more and more in effort to derive the amount of pleasure we should get. 

I had an egg for breakfast, with a homemade English Muffin. In the past I have gotten horribly bored with eggs.  Store-bought eggs are rubbery, plasticky, tasteless things that require copious amounts of salt and pepper to choke down.  My first bite of my first pasture-raised egg was bliss.  Naturally buttery, melt-in-your-mouth, richness beyond belief.  I got more pleasure from that one egg than a million other store-bought 'eggs'. 

The same holds true for butter.  Margarine just doesn't hold a candle to it. Margarine, loaded with so many tasteless chemicals they need to add salt to make it palatable, where homemade, pasture-raised butter has only rich cream and a touch of salt. Seeing it melt over your morning toast sets your stomach rumbling in anticipation. 

I think sugar is another example.  Does the idea of sprinkling 'Splenda' on your fruit really entice you?  Sugar does, to a certain extent.  I found 'Evaporated Cane Juice' or Organic Sugar even better, since it has flavor, not just sweetness.  What about honey?  Honey is mentioned in the Bible numerous times as food for kings.  Honey is mentioned in Song of Solomon several times with an aura of pleasure normally equated with sex. I find Raw Honey even better, as it has depth and character regular honey lacks.

Is it possible one reason our children are such picky eaters is because we have made food...boring?  Has food become so dull that we need to wrap it in colorful packaging with a toy inside? How can we make our dinner table enjoyable again?

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