Lately, I have been reading books about food. This fall I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Her family spent a year eating locally by growing their own food and frequenting farmer’s markets. It’s a good read. Now, I am in the middle of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food (highly recommended). He’s asking us to rethink our obsession with nutritionism and start eating food (real food) again. Next, I plan to read Bill Mckibben’s Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future for a Christian spin on the food debate.
What all this reading has me thinking about is the spiritual discipline of eating. Now, I am really at the beginning of this journey, but I believe that most Americans take their food so much for granted that most of you are chuckling at the fact that I even mention “spiritual” and “eating” in the same sentence.
But this is my journey: How much do I need to eat? Where should I buy my food? Who produces the food I purchase? How can I share my food with others? How can I make my eating practices spiritual and Christ-centered? Should eating be pleasurable or merely to sustain? Yes, these are the “peas and carrots” of faith, but I contend that our bad eating habits could block us from genuine relationship with our neighbors and with God; not to mention bad health.
P.S. This might get ugly–our biggest fights over the years have centered around food. :):) I can’t eat much fried food, red meat, or fattening foods without getting a stomache ache. Hmmm . . . maybe that should be a normal reaction to eating lots of fried food, red meat, and fattening foods.