Serve Me! Our Obsession with Food


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November 11, 2015

I like to eat as much as anybody. There is no doubt about that.

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Food is fuel – we realize that, right?

The mouth is a multipurpose instrument, one of the purposes being a fuel port. God could have set it up so we walk up to a tank, pump the fuel directly to the stomach via a local port, and be on our way in 90 seconds. He did not need to create food with limitless varieties of texture, flavor, and color. Why did He do this? I believe it was simply for our enjoyment. There are communal and spiritual aspects of eating.

We have seen recently the emergence of a new category of people called “foodies“. What does that mean? We are obsessed with food, that’s what it means. We have become hedonistic and entitled in our response to food. We strive to perfect:

  • the ambience
  • the temperature
  • the texture
  • the ingredients
  • how to consume it

Oh, and the source must be righteously perfect.

What is an obsession? Is it healthy to have one? Why do we have such obsession with food?

In countries where poverty is overwhelming, there is obsession with food. But it is a different kind. The obsession is to find something – anything – to eat. There are people whose days are consumed with simply scratching out some morsel to sustain life, or to find water.

Ourare Allaye Temp village in Mondoro region of Mali.

Ourare Allaye Temp village in Mondoro region of Mali.

Our obsession is on the other end of the continuum. Our obsession delves into details. It’s related to entitlement. We deserve the best. If we don’t get the best, we are miffed. Sometimes we are a lot more than miffed. We get downright angry.

Some restaurants are highly focused on rigorous customer service. I have received surveys asking in detail how the process went. Was I greeted within 3 seconds of entering? Was the music too loud or too soft? Did I feel like the wait staff cared personally about me? Was the food temperature just right? Was the ambience what I expected? Did the wait staff bring the food quickly? Was the temperature precisely what I needed it to be? Were there adequate supplies in the restroom? Did the manager come by and treat me as one of her best friends? Was the door opened for us as we left the establishment? (I am not kidding, and I’m only covering some of the questions.)

Why is this? Because we are rigorously demanding. We act like royalty, like the restaurants exist to serve our every whim. So, they respond to such expectation. They foster the attitude that this experience is All About Me.

They do serve, but we are rarely satisfied. We want to waft in, have that temperature dialed in, the ambience amazing. the texture of the fuel impeccable, and we don’t want to wait. And God forbid there might be children nearby. With voices.

Serve me, serve me, serve me. And if you make me the slightest bit dissatisfied, say ‘bye-‘bye to your tip.

Most of us have heard that “Patience is a virtue”. This seems to indicate that we lack virtue, Impatience  rises up so quickly in a culture of affluence and instant results.

Enjoy your fuel. Share the time at the table with others.

Give thanks to God for the bounty. Thank your server.

Thank God you didn’t have to do this to obtain your food!

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Photos: Jan Vašek on Pixabay, WaterAid, Umoja Orphanage

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One thought on “Serve Me! Our Obsession with Food

  1. Pingback: Privilege | MATTERS of WORLDVIEW

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