Peace with Food
A mid all this gloomy talk about food anxieties and food disorders, it's easy to forget that eating can be, should be, and often still is one of life's greatest pleasures.
The problem for many of us is not that we take too much pleasure from food, but rather that we take too little. For all our consumption, conspicuous and otherwise, we too often find ourselves, as the philosopher Alan Watts once put it, eating the menu rather than the meal.
One starting place, then, might be to think seriously about the phenomenology of enjoyment: Though we tend to use the words somewhat interchangeably, there are important differences between "fun," "pleasure," and "joy," and the kinds of eating associated with each. Each corresponds to a different state of the self.
Fun is a momentary diversion, a little vacation from the rest of your life. Fun foods give us a fizz, jolt, snap, crackle, or pop. "The fun begins with Dole," says a current commercial, which evokes banana-peel pratfalls and reminds you that Dole bananas are full of "vitamins, minerals, and laughs."