Food is at the basis of everything we do on a daily basis. It provides the fuel for the body and while these may be cliché ideas it is often easy to forget just how important food is because it is in such abundance in developing nations. Considering food more deeply is a sign of a mature person who is engaged in his/her overall healthfulness. In the most basic sense food provides energy however, eating the right kinds of foods is even more important than understanding the nature of food itself. Nutrition is all about understanding the balance between different foods and managing them accordingly. Because I am in the position of being surrounding by lots of food options, it is important to bare in mind those people who are not born into such lucky situations as I. In thinking about these people over the course of this class, I have grown a greater respect not only for food itself but for the freedom that allows me to choose what food I want and when. In light of having this choice, I am committed to becoming more thoughtful about my food choices and those that affect others.
In my readings for this class I stumbled upon a statistic that suggested there would be enough food to feed the entire world if every person in developing countries made a step towards becoming vegetarian. It is remarkable that such a change could improve the lives of thousands of people particularly in impoverished countries. In many ways, learning about other people who do not have readily available access to food made me reconsider my own life choices. While I may not be willing to cut meat completely out of my diet, it is important to always remember those people less fortunate. In addition, I would be wrong not to attempt to avoid wasting food in my own life. Not only do I wish to make the effort of throwing away less food and ordering smaller portions in the first place, but I also hope to grow in my appreciation of every bite of food.
Nutrition very much falls within this vein. Even though eating junk food may not be the same as throwing away half of a huge burger, in some ways eating junk food does a disservice to my body. In keeping a food journal for an extended period of time it became quite apparent that much of the food that I eat is consumed without thinking much about it, a snack here a mini candy bar there. In this way I have developed many detrimental habits I might not have otherwise realized were there. Eating without being mindful means putting something into my body that I did not take time to consider. Perhaps being aware of this in the first place is the best step. I would not put harmful chemicals or drugs into my body willingly so why should food be any different.
Overall, the goal of any nutritional program is to help a person take control over his or her life. There are many mindless unhealthy choices that people make on a daily basis without much consideration to their health. Many people could not even accurately estimate how many calories they eat in a day let alone whether or not they are receiving a healthy balance of other important vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to function effectively. Without getting consistent access to these needs, a person can begin to feel a real toll on their body. Becoming educated about proper nutrition has helped me to understand how to make myself feel and function at my fullest potential. Mindful eating not only gives respect to the nature of food, but also to those people who are not so fortunate as to have lots of choices. For those people and for myself, I should become more conscientious about what I put into my body on a daily basis.