Food Vices Part I – Gluttony

I thought exploring The Seven Deadly Sins from the perspective of a foodie would be a novel exercise, so I start the journey with Gluttony which seems an obvious place for a foodie to embark!  For the purposes of this reflection, I’m taking liberties and defining Gluttony as over indulgence or over consumption of food to the point of waste.

gluttonyPhoto courtesy of Flickr

For a person, such as myself, who oft times has little or no self-control when it comes to food, over indulgence and over consumption are almost second nature.  So really it’s just a habit, a bad habit!

I’m not talking simply about the physical act of overeating either when it comes to over consumption.  I do eat and I do often eat with reckless abandon.  But I also spend much of my free time reading about food.  I love to ingest material about new ingredients, cultures, cuisines, medicinal properties of herbs and spices, nutritional content… You name it, if it’s about food, I feast on it!

I am also a cook.  Almost every aspect (shopping not so much) of cooking makes me happy.  From planning to partaking, I derive an immense sense of accomplishment and an inordinate amount of pleasure.  Admittedly, I am slightly (perhaps more than slightly) obsessed with all things food, and therefore prone to Gluttony.

Now, I don’t worry that I’ll be sent to the gates of hell and damned for all eternity for being Gluttonous, but I do believe that there is room for a counterbalance, and sitting opposite of sinful Gluttony is virtuous Temperance.  Sweet, angelic, judgemental Temperance… she can be a real buzz kill!

There are many reasons to avoid Gluttony, but first and foremost it’s just plain wasteful.  When I overeat, I’m wasting food.  I am fully aware that my body only needs so much fuel to function.  Temperance dictates that I restrict my consumption to only the amount sufficient to fuel my activity, so it makes sense to embrace Temperance.

Also, when I prepare too much food, there is gross potential for waste.  Leftovers are nice to have occasionally but can end up discarded.   Temperance calls for preparing enough food to feed the need and no more (perhaps I should even think about making a little less).

My Gluttonous nature extends to my pantry too.   I do not need ten cans of cannellini beans, multiple types of pasta or extra bottles of this and that just sitting on a shelf.  Come on! I’m not storing up for the apocalypse.  So again, it makes sense to embrace Temperance and banish Gluttony.

As for my voracious appetite to feast my eyes reading about food, I’m tempted to tell Temperance to take a hike!  Reading is good, right?  But there are likely times when I could be making better use of my time.  Like maybe getting off my tookus and out of my comfy chair to take that hike, hand in hand, with Temperance.  (Which actually sounds like a good place to start the next offering in this seven part series… stayed tuned next week for Food Vices Part II – Sloth.)

So bring me my shawl somebody I feel the bracing winds of Temperance blowing my way… Thanks for visiting Palatable Life.

Be inspired,

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