February 11th, 2017
By Sayer Ji
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
Despite being the condition for the possibility of all life itself, food is rarely appreciated for its true power. Far beyond its conventionally defined role as a source of energy and as building blocks for the body-machine, fascinating new discoveries on the frontiers of science reveal that food is also a powerful source of information.
We are all hardwired to be deeply concerned with food when hungry, an interest which rapidly extinguishes the moment we are satiated. But as an object of everyday interest and scientific inquiry, food often makes for a bland topic. Nonetheless, food is one of the most fascinating and existentially important topics there is, and in many ways, until we understand the true nature of food, and how it is still the largely invisible ground for our very consciousness, we will not be able to understand our own nature, or our own destiny.
Modern Western concepts of food are a byproduct of a centuries old process of intense secularization. Food is now largely conceived in terms of its economic value as a commodity and its nutritional value as a source of physical sustenance. In the latter regard, its value is quantified through the presence and molecular weight of macro- and micronutrients or its “fat-inducing” calories. In the process of reducing food’s value to these strictly quantitative dimensions, it has lost its soul. Food is no longer believed to possess a vital life force, much less a sacred one. But the etymology of sacred, namely, to make holy, and the etymology of holy, which connects to heal, whole, health, implies correctly that food has the ability to “make us whole.”
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