Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thinking differently about food

Picked blackberries yesterday. These were the plump sweet kind that sprung from bushes taller than me and grew on thornless stems which made for ideal picking. But what struck me is how much energy even basic tasks like blackberry picking require. I walked up and down the rows. I stooped and stretched. I was moving the whole two hours. Afterwards, my joints were sore, but I felt exhilarated. And another thing happened: When I was on the farm, I saw the chickens and goats and corn and tomatoes and I made a deeper connection to the place where my food comes from. It is so easy to overeat and even waste food – to continually take too much – when you are not thinking about the animals and the people and the elements of Mother Nature that have to come together just right provide your meal. And there in the warmth of the early fall with a rooster crowing in the distance, I felt connected to my food in a different way. I felt grateful for all that I have – which is always enough. And I realized, more deeply, that food is there to nourish me. That sacrifices are made so that I can easily have that nourishment for my body. Food is there to strengthen my body and yet, somewhere along the way I also turned eating into a form of recreation. Perhaps if I appreciate my food more and focus on it as a source of fuel that energizes my body instead of trying to shovel as much junk in my mouth as possible, I’ll find it easier to make healthy eating choices. Yesterday, I had the best blackberries I ever tasted. I ate them one at a time off the vine and gave thanks.

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