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Food

If Jesus Were a Dietitian

If Jesus Were a Dietitian

“I was my sickest and loneliest when I appeared my healthiest.” How’s that for an admission? Yet it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jessica Knoll’s recent op-ed for The NY Times, the provocatively titled “Smash the Wellness Industry.” She describes a somewhat harrowing relationship with food and body that sounds […]

Rest, Delight, and Community: An Interview with Kendall Vanderslice, Author of <i>We Will Feast</i>

Rest, Delight, and Community: An Interview with Kendall Vanderslice, Author of We Will Feast

Grateful for this interview conducted by Aarik Danielsen, with Kendall Vanderslice: Men and women cannot live by bread alone but, in its breaking, we recognize the one who gives us life. We bring nothing to the table of Jesus, yet he graciously offers us all the abundance he shares with the Father and Spirit. Called […]

The Special Waffle: Something Like a Parable

The Special Waffle: Something Like a Parable

By Nathan F. Elmore: Occasionally, you get handed the Special Waffle—rectangular pieces of brie topped with thin, crescent-moon slices of Granny Smith apples, drizzled with honey and resting on a modest, square-shaped buttermilk waffle. Without paying for such things. Without any birthright for such things. Without having ordered it or even wanting it. Without deserving […]

What, Me Worry? - A Sermon For Thanksgiving

What, Me Worry? - A Sermon For Thanksgiving

Very grateful to share this sermon from Paul Walker, Rector at Christ Church in Charlottesville:  If there is one thing most human beings are good at, it’s worrying. Even a day set aside to give thanks can become a day set aside for extra worry. Every year, our family has a Wednesday Thanksgiving dinner with another […]

You Don't Have To Be Grateful

You Don't Have To Be Grateful

We have reached halftime in the holiday season sprint from Halloween to Christmas: Thanksgiving. The least commercialized of all American holidays, Thanksgiving stands apart as a holiday focused not on gift-giving or material consumption, but on gratitude. Problematic history aside, Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to gather with family and friends and reflect on all the […]

Microplastics and Macrograce

Microplastics and Macrograce

This one comes to us from Amanda McMillen.  I come from a family of Greek women that collect seashells. On every beach trip, we’d pack empty buckets and leave room in the car to lug our treasures home. I’ve since learned that stealing pounds of shells from beaches is not good practice for clams and […]

Depth of Fields: Stewarding the Stewards of a Movement

Depth of Fields: Stewarding the Stewards of a Movement

Mike Spackman’s voice broke a little as he described the experience of being awarded 2017’s Cook of the Year at the BBC’s Food and Farming Awards. He said when The Naked Chef himself, Jamie Oliver, announced his name, it was like that scene from Babe, where Farmer Hoggett says, “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.” His Britishness made […]

The Golden (Arches) Rule

The Golden (Arches) Rule

This tasteful reflection was written by Andrew Taylor-Troutman. On the first Sunday of the month, I gathered with the other middle schoolers early in the morning before church and piled into the motley assortment of cars driven by our church’s college leaders. I worshipped those undergraduates and would have gladly tagged along wherever they drove. […]

Wendell Berry's Plea for Grace

Wendell Berry's Plea for Grace

Have you ever seen your dog or cat suddenly turn its head, tense up, and stare intently into an unoccupied space? It’s quite unnerving. They obviously see something we can’t, and if the more instinctual part of our brain trusts their superior senses enough, we tense up as well. It’s an interesting cross-species bit of […]

In the Year of our Lord of the Church Split by Joy Roulier Sawyer

In the Year of our Lord of the Church Split by Joy Roulier Sawyer

This poem was originally published in the Food & Drink issue of The Mockingbird. In the Year of our Lord of the Church Split by Joy Roulier Sawyer In the Year of our Lord of the Church Split, we stopped phoning Donna for her recipe for sugared baked beans; forgot Lorraine crocheted the soft blue […]

Why We Eat (and Think About Eating) Too Much

Another excerpt from Mark Greif’s intimidatingly excellent essay collection Against Everything, this time as an excuse for posting the accompanying de Botton video almost as much as the quote itself:

It will be objected that the care for food is a fascination only of the rich; this is false. Stretching from high to low, the commands to lose weight, to undertake every sort of diet for the purposes of health, to enjoy food as entertainment, to privatize food care as a category of inner, personal life (beyond the shared decisions of cooking and the family dinner), have communicated new thought and work concerning food to the vast middle and working classes of the rich Western countries, too.

I think there is something wrong with all this. Underlying my opposition is a presumption that our destiny could be something other than grooming–something other than monitoring and stroking our biological lives. Many readers will disagree. I respect their disagreement if they are prepared to stand up for the fundamental principle that seems to underlie their behavior: that what our freedom and leisure were made for, in our highest state, really is bodily perfection and the extension of life.

One of the main features of our moment in history, in anything that affects the state of the body (though, importantly, not the life of the mind), is that we prefer optimization to simplicity. We are afraid of dying, and reluctant to miss any physical improvement. I don’t want to die, either. But I am caught between that negative desire and the wish for freedom from control. I think we barely notice how much these tricks of care take up our thinking, and what domination they exert. (pgs 38-39)

Seeking Freedom from Dieting and Body Shame: Part Three

Seeking Freedom from Dieting and Body Shame: Part Three

One of the comments from this recent article in the New York Times Magazine on diet culture in America says: As humans I think we are all seeking something more. We all want to be better, and to be different. Some days we love ourselves. Some days we don’t. This Feature went way beyond weight […]