Food is Pleasant

I’ve just finished First Bite: How We Learn to Eat By Bee Wilson. It was an interesting read which has given me plenty to think about in terms of how I eat and how I compel others to eat. There are a number of things I could reflect on: how to encourage guests to try new foods, how individual background influences choice, or how presentation and company changes the taste of food.

Instead, I’m left thinking that the core idea of First Bite is that food is pleasant and eating pleasurable- and that all our various diets, eating disorders, and malfunctions are signs that our relationship with food has lost sight of this fact.

To me, as ever, it all relates to the Beginning where God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food” (Genesis 1:29).  This direction from God comes in the broader context of Creation, where God blesses Adam and Eve and tells them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28).

This blessing is like saying “Enjoy this inheritance I have given you. Take what I have made and tend it, nurture it and help it develop.” Which is to say, that Adam and Eve were meant to find their labors pleasurable, which were multiplying and tending the garden; and find the fruits of their labor pleasant, which were the children their raised and the foods they ate.

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