Eating Our Hearts Out
By: Ben Boruff
I like to eat. I love cheesecake, pizza, ice cream, and cheese. I also love bacon. I sometimes think that a perfect world would serve bacon all the time. And chips. I can eat a whole bag of chips in one evening if a good movie is on TV. And fried shrimp is amazing. Actually, I think most anything that is fried is amazing. At the Indiana State Fair, we have our choice between fried Twinkies, fried cookie dough, fried Snickers, and even fried Pepsi. After a day at the State Fair, I say a quiet “sorry” to my arteries before leaving the scent of deep-fried goods.
But I wonder if unhealthy eating is more than just a personal choice. Are we called to be good to our bodies, and does this include healthy eating? If we’re supposed to care what comes out of our mouths, are we supposed to care what goes in? Is healthy eating a moral issue?
Eating habits impact more than the individual. In college, I took an anthropology class that scared me into healthy eating. I decided to eat entirely healthy meals. After a week of attempted healthy eating, I ended up sitting at my desk in despair. This was not because of lack of effort or willpower on my part (though I did cheat a time or two), but because of the absurd lack of healthy food on my campus. Trying to eat healthy food for a week—just one week—proved to be extremely difficult. Our society seems to be dripping with soda and salt. If I want something other than soda at a restaurant in America, my options are typically limited to water, lemonade, and alcohol (which, given my age, is not actually an option).
Healthy eating intersects with other issues. Unhealthy companies thrive on unhealthy consumerism. We spend money—individually and as nations—on medical procedures and research because of unhealthy eating. We are limited by health concerns due to earlier unhealthy eating.
Should this be a concern for Christians? As a person of faith, should I care? Until recently, I hardly cared what I ate, much less what other people ate. But should I? Should it be my concern? Should others care if I choose to eat some fried chicken or neglect to eat some whole grains? Is healthy eating a moral issue? What do you think?
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