Alison Jameson: Essay

What’s with the Math?
Alison Jameson

The mathematical revelation that one spendsover two years, out of thirty, in his/her life consuming foodis upsetting. Utilizing about twenty thousand hours for chewingand swallowing food is disturbing due to the assumption that eatingis intrinsic to survival and is nothing more than an action fornourishing the body. Eating has even become seen as a disgustinghabit and a sinful action for which one should repent with exerciseand excuses. The fact that eating is at the basis of social activityand culture has been overlooked almost completely in America’smodern society.

Eating does consume more than two years ofthe adult life. This statement is shocking because one may realizewhat they could be doing instead of eating. The problem with thisstatement is that it doesn’t incorporate the fact that eatingis intertwined with many other parts of life such as social interaction.People see it as consuming time in life, whereas it is an essentialpart of it and can add to it.

“Every anthropologist and cultural commentatorhas long recognized the centrality of food to a society”(Finkelstein 201). In earlier times eating has carried a moreritualistic importance which have been partially forgotten bymodern society. Eating has become an embarrassing and horribleact. Fats and sugars lie at the threshold of sin because of theway those foods are believed to effect physical appearance.

“When anthropologist Mary Douglas says”Food is not feed,” she refers to the conjunction ofthe social and the culinary” (Kane 138). Eating is not adisgusting habit but instead it is vital for social and physicalhealth. Although the amount of time one spends eating seems shocking,once realized it not a disgusting and sinful vice that must beconquered, but rather a social and enlightening activity, thetime spent seems less wasteful.

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