This month the SUN takes a look at Food. The menu is varied — brown rice to cheeseburgers — and if it sounds noisy in the kitchen, it’s because the help agrees on very little these days. There are as many “right” ways to eat as there are “right” ways to worship God. Among the true believers — vegetarians or meat-eaters, followers of macrobiotics or the mucusless diet, those who choose their food with reverential deliberateness or those who make a religion out of being thoughtless — loyalties are fierce and heresies seldom tolerated.
The world feeds on itself. To be is to eat and be eaten. It’s not surprising, then, that so many passions are attached to this simplest and most profound act.
Perhaps never before has man had so great a choice of what to eat, at least in this country. In fact, much of the commentary in this issue might appear meaningless, or even cruel, to many of the world’s poor and hungry. And yet the dialogue has meaning not only for those who have a choice today but for future generations who may not have the opportunity to debate questions about food processing, chemical fertilizers, and the rest. On the one hand, there is the spectre of famine; on the other, the increasing dominance of the processed food industry. What we now call natural food may someday be non-existent, unless people start becoming more involved now in the decisions about what we eat.
There are still those, of course, to whom these questions seem relatively unimportant. Those to whom there appears no immediate connection between what we eat and how we be, between nutrition and physical as well as spiritual well-being. Those to whom the warnings of worldwide famine or the destruction of the world’s natural resources seem hysterical and ill-founded. Time will tell.