Whole Living Gal

Why Eat?

{I updated this post}

I’m reading Michael Pollen’s book In Defense of Food right now, and it has me thinking, among other things: why do I eat?

Well, of course there is the survival aspect – I have to eat to live.

But what if scientists came up with a magic pill that provided me with all the nutrients I need – and instead of eating, I just needed to swallow the pill 3 times a day. (Just go with me on this hypothetical situation for a minute…)

Would I take it?

Pardon my not-so-French-but-American-expression: Hell, no!

I would not take the pill, but would shun it with upturned nose and a slathering of judgement.

I love food.

I love to eat.

I love to eat with other people.

I love to cook.

I love to chop.

I love to smell food and touch it and taste it and see other people enjoy it.

Did I mention I love to eat?

Food isn’t just the sum of it’s parts. We don’t just eat for the nutritional value found in the food. We also eat for the enjoyment of the whole process, at least I do.

In our age of industrialism, you can eat without cooking. You can drive through windows where people practically throw bland, fatty foods at you. You can buy pre-made meals frozen and zap them in a microwave. You can sit down at a table and pay someone else to cook and clean up for you.

Food is a huge part of my life – and always has been. This is not to say that I never eat out, because I do – and I love to taste foods that other people make, it gets my creativity flowing. But I love to create in my kitchen, too. And I love to serve people. But mostly, I just love everything about eating.

I don’t so much like the cleaning up after cooking or eating, but, hey, at least I have a dishwasher.

Would you take the pill?

What do you love about eating?


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  1. I love that making food and cooking builds community. Enjoying a meal together can really become a bonding experience. One of my best friends was lamenting a few years ago that she’s not artsy fartsy, she doesn’t craft or paint etc. Then I told her “your food is your art!” She is a phenomenal cook and I truly do think that food can be an expression of love, of thanks, of art. I love that!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
    • I totally agree with that, Sarah! I spend extra money on food every month than I really should, but David reminds me that it’s my hobby, too. 🙂

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  2. * jean says:

    Ed just finished taking a food class at school and Michael Pollen’s book was one of the text books they used. I’m looking forward to delving into it when I have a spare moment. I think there’s something therapeutic about cooking from scratch. And something pleasurable with placing it on your table for your family to enjoy.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  3. I don’t understand people who don’t love food either. And since eating more whole foods I am amazed what bland tasteless crap I was calling food. Now everything is bursting with flavor. And cooking brings me untold amounts of joy. We should start a cooking club!!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  4. * brooke says:

    i wouldn’t take that silly pill, either. funny thing is, that i think the pill already exists: it’s instant, microwavable meals and drive-through dinners. that’s basically the pill.

    one lingering dinner of real food with good friends is enough reason to remind me afresh why it all matters, this cooking thing.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  5. * Emma says:

    In regards to the woman who doesn’t cook (since I happen to be one of those women myself) do you think that because she doesn’t cook she doesn’t enjoy good food? I would just like to say this: I think cooking (more than just cooking but the real deep enjoyment of cooking and food that most chefs and food creators have) is an art and a gift just like anything else. I think some people have it and others don’t – clearly you have this gift Heather. 🙂 Maybe this woman has others in her life who enjoying cooking more than she does. In my family, my husband is the cook…and I’m learning along with him. We often have fun cooking together. In my extended family two of my male cousins, and my uncle do all the cooking always – their wives don’t cook at all.

    Ever since I was a baby my mom said that I never really ENJOYED food, but just ate it because I needed to. That is until I tasted cake on my first birthday…I dove my entire face straight into it! There are pictures to prove it. Needless to say I enjoy sweets! More than I should. 🙂 And my love of sweets has made me a baker. I love to bake! I could bake all day. And to me, cooking and baking are very different – but both wonderful.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
    • Hi Emma! I think I may have been too harsh in this post, huh? I should say that I don’t think cooking is the woman’s job at all, it’s just that I’ve found so much joy in food and eating by cooking more. I’ve come to appreciate food more because I”m cooking more. Baking is a part of cooking, too! Though you’re right, they’re different.

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
    • p.s. I know lots of people who don’t cook 🙂

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago

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