Women Food and God.

The title caught my attention immediately so I picked it up and read the book’s inside cover flap. Its summary talked of confronting food compulsions and a few other things that made me cringe:

“The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God.”

Huh, I thought, not quite sure I agree with that assertion. My feelings about love, fear, anger, etc., are pretty healthy, I think. My feelings about food on the other hand, well…

I thumb-typed the title into my iPhone, adding it to the “books” note.

Leaving Bloomsbury Books and continuing up E. Main Street in downtown Ashland, Oregon, the topic of conversation was where to eat for lunch. Should we head back to the room and heat up the canned soup we bought from Safeway, or should we eat out at Pangea?

My sister Kendra and I have been making an annual summer trip to Ashland since 2005 and this year our newly-married sister-in-law Lauren joined us. We go for the Shakespeare Festival and attempt to cram in as much play watching, thrift store and used book store shopping as we can in three days or less.

Each visit inevitably includes a stop at Shakespeare Books & Antiques where we drool over first edition copies of classic literature, Noble Coffee where we sip coffee and read, Gypsy Rose where we get new sunglasses, and multiple trips to any bookstore we encounter where we make multiple purchases.

But I didn’t buy Women Food and God. Maybe because it wasn’t from a used bookstore and I stubbornly refused to pay full price? Maybe I talked myself out of it because I had already bought 5 (or so) books, one of which happened to be another book about food: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which I found at Rouge Books (one of our favorite used bookstores, across the street from Noble Coffee).

Or maybe it was because in that moment at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland, Oregon, this theme of food and my relationship to it hadn’t quite surfaced yet. Well, yes, I had read The Omnivore’s Dilemma a year earlier. And yes I had just purchased another food book. But these books were making me think differently about where and how I got my food. I learned about the devastating economic impacts of an industrialized food system based largely on the genetic modification of corn.

These food books had started to change what I eat, not the way I eat. The way I eat. That’s a Pandora’s box I’m still not sure about opening.

We opted to eat at Pangea for lunch.

(Side note & disclosure. I’m trying something new in this post: using affiliate links for the book titles.)

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