We are eating ourselves and the planet to death. A new relationship with food is required.
Thai meditation teacher Ajaan Fuang is someone I have learned from when it comes to my relationship with food. He was known for his wise words on many subjects, including concepts surrounding food and eating.
After a trip to America, one of his students asked him if he had had a chance to eat pizza while he was there. He mentioned that he had, and that it was very good. This surprised one of his students who had gone along on the trip.
"You ate only two bites," the student said. "We thought you didn't like it."
"Two bites were enough to fill me up," Fuang answered. "Why would you want me to eat more?"
Once a woman who had been studying with him for a short while decided to prepare some food to give to him. Wanting to make sure it would be something he liked, she asked him straight out, "What kind of food do you like?"
I love his answer: "Food that's within reach."
Fuang was very familiar with the problems our stomachs get us into.
"We human beings have long tongues, he said. "You sit around and suddenly your tongue flicks out to sea: You want to eat seafood. Then it flicks around the world: You want to eat foreign cuisine.
He also knew the solution - "You have to train your tongue and shrink it down to size."
Even before eating became an entertainment for the masses he was advising anyone that would sincerely listen, "When you eat, keep your mind on your breath, and contemplate why you're eating. If you're eating simply for the taste of the food, then what you eat can harm you."
Training our tongues and shrinking them down to size will go a long way toward changing our relationship with food and restoring health on Earth. Besides, in these days of rapidly increasing food prices, who can actually afford to eat recreationally?