Eco-Gastronomy and Saying Grace

Today’s entry in San Francisco IdealBite goes like this:

Ever seen da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”?

The Bite

Then you know food can be art. And that’s what the founders of Slow Food International – a nonprofit devoted to bringing back whole foods that are cooked and savored slowly – are all about. If you’re into food prepared the old-fashioned way (and with sustainability in mind), add slow foods to your daily menu for a more vibrant…er, palate.

The Benefits

  • Eating becomes art. Getting to know ingredients, producers, and the cultural history behind our foods makes for more soul-satisfying meals.
  • An easel way to avoid empty calories. Many additives in processed and fast foods are chemicals that lack nutritional value and sometimes wreak havoc on your health.
  • Painting a greener landscape. The slow food movement promotes biodiversity of crops, organic farming, and the preservation of family (not factory) farms.
  • An energy-saving Renaissance. Example: The production of a 1-pound box of cereal requires almost seven times as many kilocalories of energy as it provides in nourishment.

OK, you know, it’s the last one that gets me. I keep harping on posts like The Story of Stuff (long, but worth watching), but those are the things that astonish me.

When I posted my comment today on IdealBite, I was reminded of my Podcast 8 about Life-Affirming Rituals, including Saying Grace (start at 25:00 for this portion). As you may remember from that one, a student of mine wound up losing weight, literally just through the act of thanking the “folks” that had gotten the food to her. She used to eat in the car, standing up, junk-food-on-the run. When I suggested she and her husband start saying Grace over everything they ate, they originally balked because they “don’t do that God thing.” I explained that wasn’t what this was about — this was Giving Thanks to the farmers, truckers, plants, animals, etc. that got that food TO them. The actual physical energetic “beingness” that went into what they were putting in their mouth.

Once she started doing that, first, she found it ‘disrespectful’ to eat standing up. And in the car. She and her husband felt weird saying grace over take-out boxes, so they put the food on plates. Which made them stay at the table longer, and the Grace started them talking about something besides Their Hard Days. Ultimately they started cooking.  And she started losing weight.

If you have my book, check out page 127 for a reminder about Mindfulness versus “Guilt-Ridden Scarfing” — and a discussion about “sensory awareness” when eating. It also talks about Living CAMP (check out the “eating a banana” link).  If you don’t have my book, it’s not pretty, but I have a PDF copy of the page for you here as I originally sent it in to my publisher: guilty-pleasures-sidebar-page-127

How’s about starting a quickie Thankfulness Practice, today?  You’re GOING TO EAT IT ANYWAY, my dear, so…why not?