Last night we had our Tuesday night Food & Sustainability class, and it was quite the experience. I’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks, partly because of the content, but also because we’re starting to get to know other people in the group. There’s a wide range of ages, backgrounds, career paths and taste in foods, and it’s fun to spend time with this eclectic mix of people!
Last night we arrived and knew we were in for a yummy meal. Vegetable stew was cooking, fresh bread and fruit salad were already prepared, and all we had to do was take a seat! We learned that we would be eating in silence, and one of the leaders would guide us through a series of questions to think about. It was really cool, so I’ve decided to do a version of this on the blog! My hope is that you might replicate an experience like this for yourself. 🙂
So, your dinner is served…
First, [imagine] smelling your food. What flavors do you smell? garlic, something sweet, lemon, earthy brussel sprouts
Next, sort through your dish and see what ingredients seem to be included. (I’ll help you out here.)
Now, take a bite of a brussels sprouts and visualize what that looked like growing from the earth.
As you enjoy your brussels sprouts, consider all of the health benefits:
- lowers cholesterol
- aids in digestion
- protects your DNA & white blood cells
- fights against cancer
Next, take a taste of a cashew, and visualize where it comes from.
(I never knew this is where cashews come from!!) As you enjoy the rich, smooth taste of a cashew, think about the health benefits that it provides:
- prevents cancer
- lowers blood pressure and promotes heart health
- boosts your mood
- helps to make your hair & skin glow
Next, take a bite of the apple and enjoy it’s refreshing, crisp and tart flavor. Imagine an apple tree.
Think about what makes an apple such a healthy fruit:
- strengthens bones
- fights cancer
- regulates body sugar
- aids in maintaining a healthy weight
Take a bite that includes multiple ingredients, and try to taste of maple syrup. Visualize where it came from.
Enjoy the sweet taste, and consider it’s benefits:
- good source of manganese and zinc
- supports healthy immune system
- decreases inflammation
Can you taste the garlic? Think about that growing in the ground.
Garlic helps to:
- fight bacteria
- lowers cholesterol
- promotes clear, healthy skin
Last, do you notice the tart citrus flavor? Think about where lemons come from.
As you enjoy it’s flavor, consider why it’s such a powerful food:
- fights against toxins and free radicals
- purifies the liver
- aids in healthy digestion
- prevents dehydration
As you finish your meal, think about each ingredient. Don’t just contemplate where they came from, but also think about how they got from the ground to your plate. Imagine the labor that went into harvesting those plants, the transportation that was required, and the preparation that took place in your kitchen.
Appreciate each bite and the way that it nourishes your body. When you notice that you’re starting to get full, stop eating. Don’t finish your plate of food just to finish it!
I consider myself a pretty thoughtful eater, but this experience was a good reminder to slow down, appreciate all that good food has to offer, and to be mindful of the journey that our food takes to get from the ground to our plate.
This meal was a pretty simple combination of plants, and it was still a lot to think through… I can’t imagine doing this with a meal from McDonald’s or even a nice dinner out. We are often so removed from thinking about how our food ends up in front of us, what it looks like as a plant/animal, and how it was prepared. Next time you sit down to eat, take a moment to think about it!