The mathematical revelation that one spends
over two years, out of thirty, in his/her life consuming food
is upsetting. Utilizing about twenty thousand hours for chewing
and swallowing food is disturbing due to the assumption that eating
is intrinsic to survival and is nothing more than an action for
nourishing the body. Eating has even become seen as a disgusting
habit and a sinful action for which one should repent with exercise
and excuses. The fact that eating is at the basis of social activity
and culture has been overlooked almost completely in America's
Eating does consume more than two years of
the adult life. This statement is shocking because one may realize
what they could be doing instead of eating. The problem with this
statement is that it doesn't incorporate the fact that eating
is intertwined with many other parts of life such as social interaction.
People see it as consuming time in life, whereas it is an essential
part of it and can add to it.
"Every anthropologist and cultural commentator
has long recognized the centrality of food to a society"
(Finkelstein 201). In earlier times eating has carried a more
ritualistic importance which have been partially forgotten by
modern society. Eating has become an embarrassing and horrible
act. Fats and sugars lie at the threshold of sin because of the
way those foods are believed to effect physical appearance.
"When anthropologist Mary Douglas says "Food is not feed," she refers to the conjunction of the social and the culinary" (Kane 138). Eating is not a disgusting habit but instead it is vital for social and physical health. Although the amount of time one spends eating seems shocking, once realized it not a disgusting and sinful vice that must be conquered, but rather a social and enlightening activity, the time spent seems less wasteful.