You Are What You Eat

As someone who likes both good books and good food, I often ponder the interaction and relationship between what we put into our bodies and minds and the results of our consumption on who we are as people. A great many people are consumers and are not often conscious to what they consume, and I find it intriguing to examine the influence of what I consume in culture and in materials on who I am as a person. I am not content with being unaware of such matters, and at times will consciously choose among books or foods to consume to achieve what I consider a more healthy balance or state, not wishing to leave such matters up to chance and circumstance.

When I go out to eat at an all you can eat buffet, I have a fairly regular pattern. I begin with a diverse salad of greens, veggies, cheese, and crutons, topped with an Italian or balsamic vinaigrette dressing. After that I usually go for bread and meat (beef and especially chicken), as well as soups (especially chicken noodle). Finally I close with a dessert that is cheesecake or pumpkin/apple pie, or carrot cake. I have a pattern and I stick relatively close to it and have for a long time. Generally speaking I prefer meals that have meat, bread and other starches, veggies (especially in salad form), as well as desserts that have cheese and/or fruit (strawberry cheesecake, for example) or appetizers with cheese. Of course, one of my funniest stories of eating is when I was in Mendoza, Argentina for the Feast of Tabernacles one time and some friends and I ate at an all you can eat steak buffet where we made the waiters cry by eating so much steak and costing the hotel so much money. Good times.

I feel the same way when it comes to reading. Most of the books I read are very serious. For example, right now I’m reading two books, a book on women under the rule of the Taliban and a book on the Persian Gulf [1]. Soon, I expect to receive a book on Somali pirates. This is the general kind of book I read, and my reading tends to be serious. I tend to view literature (or television) through the prism of helping me to be better informed about life and the people in it. I don’t generally see books as an opportunity for amusement, though I do appreciate beauty. I suppose that in general, while I may eat and read for comfort, that I seldom do so for amusement. To cultivate a sense of fun can be an immense challenge given my natural inclinations, for even my humor is very serious.

That which we consume has a big influence on our lives. It is from what we put into ourselves that we get out our health and energy, our thoughts and opinions, our view of the world. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we consume wisely, so that we are able to turn what we consume into useful and productive lives. Whether that means eating well or reading (or viewing) wisely, we are responsible for what we consume. It is what comes out of us that defiles us, but that is inspired and springs out of what we put into ourselves, what we see and what we experience. We therefore have a responsibility to choose responsibly in our diet and culture so that we are people of virtue and wisdom. For, with luck, we will be able to act in such ways that benefit the lives of others, so that they may consume wisely by enjoying the fruits of our physical and intellectual labor.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/non-book-review-imperial-crossroads/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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2 Responses to You Are What You Eat

  1. Pingback: Company Manners | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: National Cheesecake Day | Edge Induced Cohesion

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