Taking Time To Think About the Food We Eat


At the end of lecture one day, Professor Litfin gave a single raisin to each student to suck on as we learned about the lifetime of the seemingly simple food. From the time the grape was planted, to it being dried out and transported to stores, we thought about it all. For me, eating food is part of my daily routine that I take for granted, and had never really thought through. I had no idea that the production and transportation of food touches an incredible amount of lives, and plays a part in creating advantages and disadvantages for different groups of people. The contemplative practice made a profound impact on me because eating became a time to think about the implications of my food choices.
Since completing this contemplative practice I have begun to incorporate this thinking into the meals that I eat. Whenever I find myself mindlessly scrolling on my phone, or scarfing down a sandwich, I pause and think about the food I have before me. I practice thinking about the implications for my wellbeing in eating the food, where and how it was grown, and honestly even if I enjoy the taste. Simply in slowing down to think about my food as I eat it, I have found that I enjoy my meals much more.
We often talk about how the politics of food touches all of us, whether we know it or not. For a long time, I thought being a consumer had no effect on the food system, but in taking the time to contemplate my eating I am able to recognize the role I play. Whether it is a banana from Guatemala, beef from the Midwest, or a carrot from my garden, my choice of food has impacts beyond the dinner plate.

2 thoughts on “Taking Time To Think About the Food We Eat

  1. Iris Aurora Thatcher

    Hey Josh!
    I’ve been experiencing the same thing after taking part in this contemplative practice. I think what was most impactful for me was realizing how something as small as a raisin can be an industrialized food, and what I particularly liked from your post is how you also mention that various groups are affected by the food chain differently. I think it would have been great to expand on this idea more, maybe even talk about “The Color of Food” and the statics behind that reading when it comes to racial and gender discrepancies. However, it was nice to see you think systematically, especially at the end when you mention, “my choice of food has impacts beyond the dinner plate”. By recognizing that your choices do make a difference on the rest of the world displays that you are thinking like a political scientist. But, as Michael Maniates mentions, remember to separate your consumer and citizen identities when thinking about solutions for the future food system (34). Overall, this was a fun read and thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Jiajie Yang

    Hi Josh,
    I was experiencing the same feeling as you did during the contemplative practices. Before taking this class, I have never thought of anything in depth about the food that I was consuming. In the contemplative practices that we have had in the class, it was my first time ever to take the time to savor one particular food and really think through all the facts, such as the creation, the production and the transportation behind the food while I was eating. I think these experiences of contemplative practices were so worthwhile and they made me to appreciate more of the food and meal that I eat. It also made me consider more when I am eating a type of food and really think through the implications that why I chose this food.


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