Everyone eats but only within the last century has food choice become such an overwhelming yet quotidial reality for so many people. Whereas, historically and still in some parts of the world, people ate traditional recipes prepared with local ingredients we now experience the hyper accessibility of diverse cuisines and ranges of food quality that creates a double consumption: we are marketed to as consumers before we consume anything into our bodies. To avoid complete paralysis in the grocery store, we become passive in our food “choices” by eating essentially what we have been conditioned to crave. After half a century of processing the life right out of our food, society is slowly waking up to the physical and emotional health issues that now plague us because of our eating habits. More recently we are beginning to consider the disastrous implication of our meals upon our planet. Increasingly, we are becoming aware of the connection between our diet and the life of the world.
In this paper I will examine Orthodox Eucharistic theology, which extends beyond the liturgical practice of communion to a sacramental presence of the church in the world. To the extent that this is true, meal-times become an extension of the Table of the Lord and are the space for the practice of eating habits that engage the life of the world. The practical movement out of this work is a call to theologically informed eating that brings life and health to our bodies and souls, families and communities, systems and planet. We are what we eat.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
food, the meal & the life of the world
the fruit of the evening: the next 12 pages will take less time than the intro and thesis...