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Growing up we said a prayer before dinner. Unfortunately I don’t do this regularly so thank you for the reminder.
A couple of times after divorcing and losing a job I did struggle and ended up needing to go to a food pantry just to get by. I do however try to give back when I can. I have volunteered at a Food Bank and have made meals for homeless over the years.
I pray before each meal thanking Source for this abundance on my plate. I remind myself daily how blessed I am for the food I have access to.
Similar to Carol’s comment about things giving their lives so we may eat, a while back the writer Antonia Malchik pointed out that for everything in our lives something has to burn. Energy is consumed to warm our houses, cook our food, heat the water we bathe in. Her piece
https://antonia.substack.com/p/slide-into-the-cold-and-dark pointed me to this by Joe Wilkins https://www.hcn.org/issues/53.11/ideas-essays-the-hidden-fires. Having read these, I find myself stopping to think about the energy consumption inherent in eating. That’s in addition to appreciating the natural processes that turn sunlight into energy my body can use, and all of the hands and bodies and minds of those who moved that energy from fields to my house.
I honor these gifts by reducing waste of food and energy, turning vegetable scraps into homemade broth for cooking and then compostng the scraps, and buying foods grown as close to where I live as I can to support local food producers and reduce the energy burned to bring the food to me. We bike for transportation so we’ve already reduced the last-mile carbon.
Barb, I think about energy consumption all the time because I live alone and heating this entire house is not needed. I try to dress very heavily in doors in the winter so the thermostat can be lowered and dress very lightly in the summer so the air conditioner does not have to run very much. Thanks for the links. Carol
I’ve grown lax in saying a Blessing of gratitude for my meals. Today I will begin pausing again, remembering all those who’ve worked in the fields and every step of the way to the stores and kitchen, with a bow and words of thanksgiving.
To enjoy every flavor! Be mindful as I eat it.
An interesting book that will enhance one’s appreciation for fruits and vegetables. LIFE CHANGING FOODS by Anthony William.
Thank you so much for the book recommendation! I just ordered it!
To enjoy every flavor! Be mindful as I eat it.
Give thanks. 🙏
Pause to not only give thanks for the food but the many hands who worked to bring it to my plate — growers, field workers, drivers, loaders, warehouse workers, stockers. Dozens of people make it possible for me to consume my three meals each day.
Enjoy every morsel to the fullest.
I say thank you for the meals I eat, savoring the food with prayers that it nourishes my body. I make an effort not to waste anything at home. We share with the dog sometimes, and vegetable waste will go to compost. Working where I do, I see so much waste, although our receiver has hooked our store up with a pig farmer so that a lot of what Produce and Prepared Foods would not be able to donate can now be piggy food. That makes me happy, especially working for a company that stemmed from a bunch of earth-loving hippies! It’s a lot different these days, but there are team members making an effort to hang on to that culture of giving back and taking care of others.
Much of the original hippies desire to live closer and in harmony with the earth was foreign to the masses in the sixties. It would not have been foreign a few generations previous. Thanks for the earth-loving hippie reference SunnyPatti!
I was at a retreat lead by my dear friend, Sr. Macrina, many years ago. She was winding up an afternoon session when the dinner bell rang and she said, “Before you take one bite of your evening meal, I want you to look at the food on your plate and acknowledge that everything there died that you might live.”
Life lives on Life. Our relationship to food is one of the most powerful relationships we can experience. Sr. Macrina’s words were an eye-opener for me. It changed the way I look at food as I prepare it and when I eat it. I think of its journey to my plate.
This question has reminded me how many are suffering from hunger due to war, natural disasters, poverty, and human neglect. I realize that I should and can do more to support the work of organizations that give aid to the hungry.
Thank you, Carol.
I do not like to waste food and yet it happens….presently I am volunteering in a community of senior RV folks who live in their “rigs” full time in this community. As a part of living in this community the residents are provided 3 meals a day- they can come to eat in the dining room or have thier meal delivered or pick up I see so much waste…as the kitchen prepares the food on a small budget and also are givin supplies from the local food bank. Meals are not very healthy but it is what is available…They may not be of my taste but while I am here I am thankful for what I am given. It makes me realize and be more aware of what food means in my home life…I will work on being moreaware of not wasteing. I am also going to remember to say a prayer of thanks for my food and for all who helped bring it to the table. I live with plenty…I never suffer food insecurity- what a Blessing. Thankful for all my gifts. Blessings to all of you this day- and I am very grateful for you and your kindness and wisdom.
This is a practice I struggle with. I’m a fast eater! Even when I offer gratitude, did magically disappears from my plate. I’ve done eating meditation many times. Recently, fasting has been helpful in cultivating an awareness of how food is essential for my life. Today I’m doing 24 hour fast to allow my gut a break and I hope to cultivate deeper appreciation in the absence of food.
I relate to this too because when I’m hungry I notice how I’m scarfing down the food and mentally have to tell myself slow down, lol.
I am a fast eater, too. Your words inspire me, Avril.
As I eat, chew each mouthful, using all my senses to enjoy each one and give thanks to the individuals and Mother Nature for providing this nourishment..
Coincidence that today’s question is about the gift of food from the planet? I am taking our butcher steer in today. I always say a special prayer whenever I harvest. Same goes when I harvest hay and vegetables. We have only potatoes and onions left from last years garden. I am also very thankful for all food I eat and do not waste. Any scraps the dog does not like to eat goes into the garden plot to help nourish the soil for the upcoming garden. I receive special joy when we are able to share some of the earths bounty. Peace and love.
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