Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thoughts on Eating

I was telling my brother about Food, Inc the other night.  He's headed to Afghanistan in a couple days, and stocking up on DVDs and digital books and stuff.  My recommendation probably ensures that he *won't* watch it, but oh well...

He really doesn't care at this point what he eats.  If it "tastes better" then bring on the GMOs!  Of course, they're not genetically-modifying anything based on taste, it's for resistance to poisons, resistance to pests, tolerance of transport, etc.  His 16-month-old daughter gets organic, though!  :)  So even if he doesn't "care," he seems to "know." ;)

One of his comments was, "I have more important things to worry about" and variations thereof, which illustrated how low on the priority list "eating" really was (not that he doesn't think eating is important, just that beyond doing it, he doesn't think about it much).  That stuck with me, even after our conversation, and I've been pondering it.  Is what we eat important?  How we eat, with whom we eat, when and where?  How important are these things?  For the record, I'm not speaking of health and nutrition for once. :)

I think eating, and all the details ARE important.  We usually commemorate a birthday, a holiday, a wedding,  with special food - shared with special people.  The Old Testament devotes thousands of words of instruction regarding what to eat, what not to eat, and how to prepare food.  When the Israelites fled Egypt, they were to prepare a certain feast, make (and eat!) a different bread.  There are various "feasts" celebrated in the bible, also times of fasting.  Gluttony is condemned, and the sluggard goes  hungry.  Jesus Himself illustrated His sacrifice with elements of the Passover feast, and commanded we do  the same in remembrance.  Eating (and not) can (should?) even be an act of worship.

So, I think the questions surrounding "eating" are not slight.  I do think that food, and eating, bears thought and careful consideration, both in a health sense and in a spiritual one.  "...know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost..."  Eating is not (or should not be) separate from our relationships with people and with God.  What that looks like probably varies between individuals, but for me, it is raising or eating animals that live and die as close to the way God intended it as is possible.  It's choosing fruit and vegetables that are grown in Real Dirt under Real Sunlight with as few harmful (to my body, to God' earth) interventions as possible.  It's eating these things with the least amount of processing (God made potatoes, but not par-fried in trans-fat, coated with preservatives before freezing).

And these things DO take thought and time, and have importance. :)

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