This weekend I attended Peter Kreeft’s talk in Alexandria, VA entitled “The Power of Beauty in the Sacred Arts”, sponsored by the Foundation for Sacred Arts. Dr. Kreeft is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and the King’s College and is a prolific writer. The talk was brilliant, and while I’m sure I could blog about more profound things, today I choose food in the hopes that we might think more profoundly about food.
One of the questions asked during the Q&A session had to do with whether or not there was beauty in “fast food”. Dr. Kreeft’s answer was that, it being fast food, it is likely that even if beauty were present we would not stop to contemplate it. (typical Kreeft witticism)
For me, it’s not so much that the food is “fast” but that it’s so processed. One could say we process the hell out of our foods, but I would actually say that we process the Heaven out of our foods. There is something spectacular about the plants, animals, and grains that God has placed on earth to nourish our bodies.
Today (shortly before lunch) I was contemplating the beauty of food. What came to mind as particularly beauitful foods were corn on the cob, a fresh raspberry, and the avocado: the straight plump rows of yellow kernels; the fuzzy red seed pockets; and the bumpy black skin protecting the creamy green fruit. With such beauty, I wonder why our society adulterates it so often and to such a degree.
Now I can’t say all of this without acknowledging that there are people in the world who are not blessed with access to fresh food, or food at all. So my prayer today is that we who have access to fresh food take the time to contemplate its beauty, thank God for the gift our food, and continue to share our food and argicultural technology with the poor and the hungry.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. Matthew 25:35