So last night, after the WW meeting, I was sitting at Jason's Deli. I could turn this space into an ad for them, but I'll refrain. I was chowing down on a beautiful rainbow salad and thinking, "How often do we really think about the food we're eating? Do we really take the time to discover and appreciate the taste of each ingredient or the varieties of things?" For example, I always get a salad bar trip .... and I always go for the baby mixed greens as my salad base. The mesclun usually is red and green leaf lettuces, arugula, maybe even a baby chard or two. Big difference there between the arugula (spicy) and the red leaf lettuce (mild), and yet very complementary. I had yellow and red bell pepper slices -- slight differences there as well. The red is sweet, but it had a slight hint of the fire it could have contained but for a twist or two of a DNA helix.
And that's when it occurred to me that we don't really often appreciate it enough.... there's such variety of taste, texture, scent, flavor, etc. but we're usually too busy inhaling the food to consider it. I am preaching to myself. Last night, I made the time to enjoy it, but all too often, food isn't a pleasure but just fuel for the next leg of the day's journey. Today was a mixed bag: I could tell you the various things in my lunch salad, but the turkey sandwich... well, it was just your basic turkey on white (I meant to ask for wheat and forgot... ugh!). Tasty but I mainly ate it for fuel, the salad as well, but it had enough distinct things that I remembered more of it.
I get a million health/wellness/foodstuff newsletters, e-mails, etc. I've chosen to subscribe to quite a few and I enjoy reading them at my leisure (insert massive guffaw there). Okay, I skim them. One that I do enjoy reading more about is Slow Food USA. I like a lot of what they represent -- and it challenges me to really think about my food. It challenges me to slow down... not only in terms of how we get our food from farm to table, but how we get it from table to body. From stomach to brain.
We Americans are far too guilty of wolfing down our food and not really enjoying it as we should. I've just bought Dr. David Kessler's The End of Overeating ... I kind of skimmed it and am going to dive deeper into it. But one of the things that he mentions is how in many countries, meal time is rest time. Time to enjoy the company of friends and family, to savor what has been prepared (whether in your own kitchen or a restaurant). One of the things he mentions is how little other countries snack because they are satiated at meal time. I think part of that is because they take time. They allow for the 20-30 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain, "Nah, I'm good, you can stop now." How often I prepare a nutritious lunch and STILL wolf it down because I have to run an errand on lunch hour .... or I pull into a drive-through for a quick dinner because it's 8:00 PM and I'm too tired and hungry to go home and prepare something or even to heat leftovers.
Just something to consider....
And hey, Upstate peeps, did you know there's a local chapter of SlowFood USA here? Check out Slow Food Upstate.