What is Mindful Eating?

Published by Wednesday, October 5, 2011 Permalink 0
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by Jonell Galloway

Mindful Eating : Get serious about what you put in your mouth!

Mindful Eating means getting serious about what you put in your mouth.

Mindful Eating is sensual — in this case visual — as well as cerebral.

You don’t have to think with your taste buds every minute of your life, like I do, but eating takes on a new importance in your life, and is no longer just an essential action required to fuel your body.

Mindful Eating starts by being mindful of every aspect of our food chain, from the very soil to the end product we put in our mouths. It is about taste and smell and nutrition, but also about respect for the land and soil that provide our nourishment.

It is about the seeds we plant, the fertilizer we spread.

It is about the human contact between a producer and a buyer and the bond that is formed when he puts the vegetables he has grown with tender loving care and the sweat of his brow into your hand. It is about leaving the land in a condition that will allow our children to live on in a healthy manner.

Mindful Eating is not only about how the steak tastes, but also about what the cow has eaten, where it comes from, how it has been treated.

It is about cooking real homemade food for our family in a spirit of love and awareness, and making sure they are getting the nutrients they need and about avoiding the toxic ingredients so many foods contain.

Photo courtesy of Odette de Crecy.

It is about reading labels in supermarkets, about trying to eat natural, if we can, or at least making the best effort we can to put quality products on the table.

Mindful Eating requires us to look at the food we eat, smell it, chew it slowly and appreciate its texture and flavor, and then pause and enjoy the aftertaste.

Mindful Eating is somewhat a way of life, although we mustn’t become obsessive about it. Almost by definition, it moves toward consumption of local products, and thus re-creation of local economies.

It is a way of communing with our environment – our family, our community, local business, producers, nature – and the satisfaction that is derived from this.

Mindful Eating gives concrete, practical results. It can improve our health and help us lose weight; it can help us lower cholesterol and consume more nutritious food.

It can give us a sense of well-being, because we have the feeling we’re doing what is right not only for ourselves and our family, but also for our community and the world.

Photo courtesy of Nikoman.

It can cut down our food budget, since seasonal products bought directly from local farmers will invariably be cheaper. They will also fresher and have more vitamins.

This is Part One of a series of articles exploring the endless possibilities incorporating this approach into our daily lives. Stay tuned for the following segments:

Part Two: Mindful Eating and Farmers
Part Three: Mindful Eating and Health
Part Four: Mindful Eating and the Local Economy
Part Five: Mindful Eating and the Land

Alessandro Guerani is a food and still life photographer in Bologna, Italy. He also has a food photography blog with beautiful food photos, Food-o-Grafia. The pomegranate photo is from his Baroque Food photo album.

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1 Comment
  • Jonell Galloway
    October 31, 2011

    You’re right, because mindful eating leads you to be more mindful about everything you do in life. It’s a way of living, of being.