Food as sustenance

Thinking about substitutions last week, and thinking back to when I read Hungry Planet and the Dollar a Day Menu Project started me thinking about why we eat.

Obviously, at the most basic level, we eat to live. People have eaten a lot of things in order to stay alive that I would immediately relegate to the trash. But most of us nowadays aren't really having problems with starvation: quite the opposite, in fact.

Sometimes I think that we should be so grateful to have food at all that we could eat beans and rice every day and smile about it. But then I go make lasagna for dinner: I want to keep my son and my husband--and myself--happy.

Where is the balance point between gratitude and gluttony, between sustenance and excess?


  1. i am struggling with this very issue myself dear... i am at the point where i really must consider losing weight, which is a new thing for me. (being chubby isn't new, but it hasn't ever concerned or bothered me, oddly enough) anyway, i need to lose weight for health reasons, and it has made me look at food differently. i *love* preparing delicious meals.. it is a big part of how i show love and joy. i don't think that's wrong.. but how does one balance that mindset with healthfulness, moderation, self control and all those worthy sorts of things?

    no answers here, i'm afraid... just more questions! i'll look forward to reading what some of your other *wiser* commenters have to say;)

  2. I think part of the purpose of food is for pleasure...I love eating ice cream every once in a while! Now if I was eating it several times a day instead of regular meals, that would be unhealty. We need a variety of food (other than just beans and rice) to get full nutrition and be healthy and so we don't get bored. I think important things to remember are healthy eating with appropriate portion sizes (that one can be difficult sometimes). If we are not eating healthily or eating too much, then we are venturing into gluttony and excess.

  3. We need to remember that "Man is that he might have joy." Our Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy our life here, has given us everything we have in order to MAKE lasagna for example, and it's our job to moderate. One piece of lasagna will do fine, have another piece tomorrow for lunch if you feel you didn't get enough.
    I don't think He want's us to be happy with only rice and beans, why would he have inspired ice cream or cheese for example???
    Or chocolate?? It's about moderation, and self control, not about denial.

  4. I have no wise words to offer but have pondered this very topic myself. There have been so many times I have knocked down and humbled to realize that I stress out over planning meals for my daughter whereas other mothers worry about simply putting food on the table. :o(

  5. Interesting thought, I have had many of them myself...(especially when I have a kid complain that they are "staaaaarving!) When you get it all figured out let me know, would like to hear your thoughts.

  6. I agree that the key is moderation. To master that we must master our own appetites though, and that's my problem.