In Ayruvedic medicine, eating the right foods for your body type requires knowing where those foods come from. If your body is sluggish and cold, if you suffer from depression and inertia, the sweetener you want is honey. Made by the the frantic wing-beating of bees, honey carries in its molecules the vestiges of this warming energy. If you’re prone to racing thoughts and nervous anxiety you should opt instead for maple syrup, product of tree-sap’s slow drip.
Set aside nutritional science for a moment and revel with me in the possibilities of wanton extrapolation from this idea. Sea salt: waterbourne, sun-baked. The obvious choice over table salt wrenched from dark places!
We all enjoy a healthy dose of poetry with our food. Why else would people pay so much for truffle oil and saffron? Nudged from the forest floor, dusted from the mouths of flowers–that’s worth its weight in gold.
Crawfish. Yogurt. Lychees. Cinnamon –you name it. These foods we eat for the same reasons we read novels: discovery, daring, transformation, romance.
One could take the metaphorical-food consciousness thing too far, of course. I have friends who, morally opposed to the crushing and grinding of life-forms–not to mention their charring–limit themselves to treefall and dry harvest.
But most of us, I think, err on the side of automatic-pilot when it comes to food. A little literary speculation on the ingredients is probably good for the body as well as the soul.