Monday, March 5, 2012

Eat thy bread with joy

Reviewing a new book, Kirk Leech argues that "moralism spoils the appetite":
.... Eating is one of life’s most enjoyable sensations. It’s fun and life-enhancing. Yet today, the pleasure of eating is increasingly weighed down with anxiety. Eating, once a relatively uncomplicated activity for many of us, has become laden with ethical and moral meaning and which has been tasked with grandiose political purpose. ....

.... For a growing number of people, making the correct moral food choice allows entry into a social complex of alternative production, distribution and consumption - farmers’ markets, organic lifestyles, co-ops, independent restaurants and stores. Moral consumption is seen as the keys to the door into a better society, a welcome change to the often dismal choices typically posed by environmentalism, which most of the time seems to ask people to give up things they like. ....

.... By viewing the acquisition and consumption of food as an ethical and moral act, we diminish the fundamental pleasure that eating food provides us. By attaching social worth and political meaning to what we eat, and hoping that consumption can make the world a better place, we will not only fail to improve the world, but in the process lose the essential fact that eating should be about enjoyment.

Eating should be seen as pleasure and not penance; something that brings happiness and joy rather than anxiety. ....
"Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe,
Who creates varieties of nourishment."

sp!ked review of books | Why moralism spoils the appetite