In our society food has become a villain. A caloric-filled foe. A tease. A treat that we aren’t allowed to have, because it’ll inevitably go to our thighs, arms, behind, or belly. We curse food with its sinful ingredients of straight-to-your-hips sugars, bloat-inducing sodium, or pound-packing proteins. So we turn to sugar substitutes, fake ingredients (what’s in those super low-cal chips?), and low-fat alternatives and turn away from wholesome foods that may have more calories, sugars, fats, and other things shunned by our society.
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Muhammad Talha
Don’t get me wrong: What a person eats is absolutely a personal choice. What bothers me is our society’s warped perspective on food. Its division of foods into “good” and “bad.” Its praise of some foods for simply being low-calorie when we have zero ideas about the integrity of the ingredients and the actual nutrients. Its insistence that food stands in the way of us being skinny, happy and healthy. (Of course, it doesn’t. But that’s a discussion for another time.) In the midst of “watching what we eat,” we forget about the sustaining, pure, and wonderful powers of food.
We forget about food’s simple beauty, and about how food and its preparation connects us with loved ones, our heritage, different cultures, new friends, and happy occasions. Recently, I came across an absolutely stunning video about preparing beet cake. (I originally found the video on this blog.) Yes, I know that beet cake doesn’t exactly spell beauty. But trust me, it’s worth a watch! This video captures the preparation of food beautifully and, most importantly, mindfully. It’s a lesson in how to look at food (and other moments in our lives, really). To open your eyes and breathe in each bite.