Let’s talk about food.
I know, that’s what we usually do here. But, I don’t mean, let’s talk about creamy plates of butternut squash risotto…
Or steaming bowls of curried sweet potato soup…
(Both recipes of mine featured in last month’s issue of The Catholic Digest, by the way.)
Instead, I mean, let’s talk about why we care about butternut squash risotto and get all excited about curried sweet potato soup. Why do we cook? Why do we eat? Why do we spend so much time, money, and energy fretting our little heads about food?
My Facebook feed has the answer. Or, rather, it thinks it does.
We’re currently approaching the high holidays of eating, so almost daily, one friend or another, making an attempt at preventative virtue, posts about their new diet and the philosophy of food behind it: “I eat for energy”; “I’m eating clean”; “I’m eating like a caveman.”
Of course, right alongside those posts, are ads for Godiva chocolate, urging me to “Indulge,” as well as images from food blogs (mine included), which post pictures of tasty treats tantalizing enough to tempt even the strictest of ascetics to break their fast.
My own complicity in this problem aside, the question remains: Who is right? Do we eat for health? Or do we eat for pleasure? Is it right to eat for nutrition, but wrong to eat for comfort? Is it virtuous to treat food as fuel, but wrong to treat it as a reward.