Food is Pleasure
In my ongoing quest to find and share peace and happiness in everyday life, I’m going to look at food. Food can be a great source of pleasure. Before I go any further I want to stipulate that I’m talking about nourishing, quality food and the action of preparing and enjoying it. I’m not talking about eating a half gallon of Rocky Road or going berserk at an all you can eat buffet… just wanted to be clear on that.
Some cook and eat for pleasure while some eat purely out of necessity. Finding pleasure in food comes in a few different forms. The first being in the plants and nurturing of crops to be harvested and eaten. This is such a fulfilling experience because the daily small act of minor feeding and watering will produce huge abundance of crops in many different regions. When one takes a package of seeds and germinates them is soil and watches them emerge and grow, it is a primal sense of being one with that of which we come from. In the Hindu faith, this is called a Karmic practice. Nurturing and tending to the earth is soothing and is a form of meditation for many.
The second joy in food can be in the preparation. Taking items grown, harvested, and preserved or fresh and turning them into delicious nutritious food feels like joy. It is pleasing to be able to create from raw foods, a meal that makes people feel good. This second joy is best felt when done for friends and family. This is because one gets to see the appreciation of the food. Chefs may love cooking on larger scales in a kitchen, but most agree that cooking for loved ones is far more satisfying.
Finally, pleasure by the act of eating food. Eating food for some is the ultimate luxury and thrill. Some don’t wish to consume alcohol, coffee, or other items and instead prefer food as for the experience. This can be though home cooking, street food, or fine dining. There is a show on Netflix right now where 5 people are followed as they experience some of the most exclusive restaurants in the world. Some are very remote and others are in the heart of major cities. The pleasure in high end food, expertly prepared and in a posh environment is what they seek. It’s interesting that there are those who are willing to fly all over the world for the perfect single meal over a natural beauty such as a forest or river. Food is a need that we all have and we each find a variety of ways in which to enjoy it. Be it for the joy in making and growing for others or in eating the perfectly plated dinner.
Food for some time became extravagant and overly complicated. Then it was dissected and rethought. Now it seems that simple, pure, un-messed with food is back in style. People want food in its purest and most basic forms. Many chefs are stepping back from gastro pub fair and making family favorites and classic cultural foods. Some of the best foods in the world are simple breads that are basic flour, salt and water loaves. Bread is one of the most underappreciated foods by many, and yet it drives our planet. From political climate to basic food needs, bread sets the stage. When bread flour was in short supply in Egypt, the people revolted until this quintessential need was met.
Allow your food and your meals to be a source of serenity and joy in your life. At the very least, practice mindfulness and gratitude in the acts of preparing, cooking and eating food. Mindful attention and gratitude combined with nourishing and pleasurable food is always a recipe for happiness! And remember, when all else fails, add chocolate! 🙂
Ps. My perspective on food, prepping it and eating it has been greatly influenced by some really amazing and engaging shows on Netflix lately. Here are just a few of my favorites: