Why We Really Need to Eat — a Parable

Silvia Bianco shares her spiritual insights on the significance of eating!

Why We Really Need to Eat — a Parable

For some of us, being in the kitchen preparing a meal is a joyful and creative act; a meditative practice even. For others just the thought of shopping, cooking and then being left with a messy kitchen, is nothing short of a nightmare.

I get it. Being a chef doesn't exclude me from the demands of having to eat at least twice a day — every day. Eating is non-negotiable of course, but maybe there's another reason that being human requires that we eat or die?

It's just that I would think our Maker, the one who builds universes and has everything working with the precision and grace of the cosmos, would have figured out a better, more convenient way to keep us alive then to have us scramble for food every day…unless He had a good reason.

Wouldn't it have been so much more efficient to have us just breathe in our nourishment from the sun like plants? After all, we have better things to do with our time — like make money and be entertained.

But our Maker doesn't make mistakes, right?

That's why I think there's got to be another reason He made it so that we had to eat to live. Maybe He knew that eating would force us to ban together in the effort of foraging for food. Maybe He knew that in the process we would receive many gifts: the taste of a sweet, juicy peach at the height of its ripeness; the aroma of cinnamon simmering in freshly brewed tea, remembered decades later by the mere whiff of this sultry spice.

And maybe our Maker knew that eating would require that we stop whatever we're doing — everyday — two or three times a day even — and join with others who also needed to eat. This would guarantee that we would have to connect and bond to each other.

He knew this needed to be a daily practice — programmed into our makeup — because He knew we needed each other in order to feel truly alive. He knew we needed to play together because when we did, eventually, we would see ourselves in the other. This was what the party was all about.

However, since our Maker also gave us free will, He couldn't force us to love each other, so He devised a plan…eating. How inventive of Him and how very human of us to have found so many ways to mess it up. Somewhere in the pursuit of progress we lost our way. It wasn't part of the plan that His clever little creatures would prefer something in a box to His precious fruit.

It was all so easy and effortless to indulge in all the sparkly, shiny, pretty, tasty things…and so it was easy to overdue it. But it wasn't until we got sick and lonely from not gathering at the table with our friends that we began waking up to the fact that a steady diet of this was probably not a good idea — that many of our conveniences were killing our bodies and our spirits.

And so we started to listen, and our body became a barometer for what felt good and what didn't because that was a clear way to reach us. Slowly we began to eat differently. Many found their way back to cooking and eating together — not every night — since this was too much of a stretch for most modern people — but more than before, and that was a good thing.

One day we noticed that the fog that once clouded our way began to lift and when it did, we rediscovered the joy, the healing, eating together brings. The nourishment that we crave, we soon learned, comes from preparing and sharing a meal even more than the food itself.

Eating, we realized, is Nature's way of insuring that we play together, tell our stories, listen, cry and laugh with each other while we sit at the same table.

And here, in this fable, lies a way for us to tune into eating without guilt guided by our intuition, inspiring us to share our meals as a joyful, playful act.