Home > food, health, life > eating with all 5 senses

eating with all 5 senses

i perused an article the other day that talked about why french women aren’t fat. the only thing i remember is that french women eat w/ ‘all five senses’. while that’s quite a sweeping generalization for the slimness of the french female, it stuck in my mind. it came back to me this morning as i was eating breakfast while reading an article for school. i suddenly realized that in america, eating has become an almost background activity, something to fill a void. it’s not that i eat when there’s nothing else to do – it’s that i must always find something else to do while i eat.

back when i lived at home w/ my family, it was unheard of to watch tv while we ate. now that i live alone, it’s a different story. there’s nobody to talk to at dinner, and it’s really the only time i have to relax, maybe catch an episode of law & order. but it’s a curse! now if i’m not watching tv while i eat, i have to read. and while it may seem that reading is better than watching tv, they’re both bad activities to partake of whilst eating (ye olde english). why? b/c they take attention away from the act of eating – eating becomes a background activity to reading or watching tv. you don’t taste, smell, see, feel the food w/ the same intensity as you would if that book was closed. there’s no acknowledgement of the role that food plays in our lives (only on an individual basis – family gatherings and religious/secular holidays all glorify food, but those happen infrequently when compared to the amount of times a year we put food in our mouths). this doesn’t mean that we should all pray in thanks for the food we ingest – although it is a very small step to see that progression, and it becomes easy to understand why such prayers and practices developed. it just means that perhaps if we actually focus on the food while we eat, savor its taste and texture, then perhaps we’d appreciate the food just a little bit more – more than as a means to an end.

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