A lot of people are obese because they indulge too much in eating, and food industries are all happy to serve all hours, night and day food for enthusiastic consumers. We eat too much or not at all, cutting out from our diet a lot of foods; if you have Jewish friends, you know that generally pork meat and also other foods are avoided from their diet. The genesis of this interesting, important and educative book Eating Ethically by Jonathan K.Crane published by Columbia University Press was born thanks to an article released in the NYT called Talmud and other diet Food. I found this reading brilliant.
Written with an original perspective this one more than to be a trip through food is a trip through...Eaters and what it means philosophically and religiously eating adding of course, who eaters are.
Not only: what it means eating ethically; eating is seen here as respect for ourselves as you will read.
Too often we are not good eaters remarks mr Crane.
He calls this mental approach maladaptive eating.
It's a problem. Also in the past gluttony was a problem treated by Aristotle before and St. Benedict of Nursia later. Benedict established rules and guidelines still followed. Two cooked dishes with fresh fruits and vegetables and some bread.
No one of these thinkers, Kant included mentioned, worried, the size of the body of a person; the size, fat or slim, was not important but the danger of a constant abuse of food was considered immoral.
That doesn't mean that if a person is invited somewhere shouldn't eat at all; the importance is the psychological daily approach with food and eating.
The author takes in consideration and I found interesting this section as well what happens in case of condition of deprivation of food in a body, like also what happens in case of a food-addicted body; both these conditions won't bring anything good for the body system.
Our body per decades was seen as a perfect machine compared to a car in needs of fuel for working properly, without any excess. If partially true, as remarks the author we can't classify our body just as a machine because also if we interrupt to introduce food in our body, our body can goes on. For a while.
So food as said by the author is not just our fuel.
"Food becomes our body that consumes and metabolizes it." An expression says: "We are what we eat" and it says all. There is a symbiotic relationship between us and our body and the food we ingest, who we are and what the food we eat let us become with the time. Let me add this.
Spinoza affirms that eating is both "Aesthetics as well as ethics."
There are various fields about eating, pretty interesting as food ethics is. In this case we will see how food is treated before to reach our...mouths. Another one involves diets.
Crane will also tell us what he loved to eat and what he appreciated and he still appreciates and what attracted him when he was a boy. Because going on our tastes changes for a reason or another.
Just in modern age there was consciousness also about the importance of keeping in good condition not just the stomach but also our intestine, the second brain of the organism and the one more stressed when sad facts occur in our existence and we can't find a way for keeping out our mental sadness.
It's important to eat well and it is not difficult after all: everything but with parsimony.
Helped by religion, the author will offer us various explanations about the eating's history seen also under a religious aspect.
One of the finals chapters will involve fats, salt, sweets and another one our relationship about eating and sharing our food with others. Sharing gives us meaning, when a person is starved, but also I would add,in normal conditions memories and good moments to remember and as added by the author, eating together is transformative. Crane adds: "To share a meal means to eat well, and conversely, to eat well means to share meals."
Beautiful book because Crane has been in grade to give us a personal vision enriching it with philosophic, religious views, giving back to the reader an intelligent dialogue about what it means eating and who eaters are, offering to the readers a diversified meaning of who we are and how we can better ourselves regarding eating, a common, normal, indispensable, vital daily activity for all men passing through the respect for ourselves, our body and the other ones, remembering to be socials and giving importance to quality and...quantities.
I thank Columbia University Press for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori