Farmer’s Markets and produce stands are, right now, brimming with nature’s bounty. Vegetables and fruit — blueberries and blackberries now in season — are boasting the ever-changing colours of life.
This is the season for the senses, with an abundance of healthy, natural food packed with nutrients and flavor. This is the time of the year we seem to pay more attention to what we eat. The selection and quality are all right there, fresh and ready for the taking.
The adage “you are what you eat” becomes evermore obvious. But it is more than that. We are everything we ingest: food, drink, information and culture.
Yes, the ingredients of our diet — whether a carnivore, herbivore, or an omnivore — is the easiest to track, because food is considered both a habit and a necessity. We are naturally, and physically, aware of the six to eight hours it takes for a meal to travel through our body from consumption to elimination.
The politics or the poetry we absorb is not as easy to trace, and, generally, remains with us a whole lot longer.
As we are, or should be, conscious of the sugar, salt, and fat in our sources of food, we should also be keenly aware of the loving thoughts, negative attitudes, insults and nuclear threats to our lives.
If all we are is food, our lives would not be as nearly as complete or complicated.
We can, and should, enjoy each meal. It should always be more than simply sustenance, as should the literature we read, the music we listen to, and the conversations we have with families and friends.
We feed our bodies with food, our minds and souls with people and the naturally-occurring daily drama. So as we carefully select our groceries, we should pay the same attention to what we watch, the information we take in, and the knowledge we hold.
It is our choice.
With the number of television channels and streaming services, it should be easier than ever to select a quality documentary or drama. With libraries and electronic access to a greater selection of titles than ever before, summer reading should last straight through to December. There need not be a moral to everything, but it should be more than junk food for the mind.
We can choose to listen to the ramblings and rhetoric of talk radio, or we can tune out and tune into any style of music that will uplift the spirits and wipe out the white noise. The menu is all about choice.
And, just as you scrutinize the display of peaches or packets of berries, you should also look closely at your other choices in life.
Are you sated by what you take in? Are you nourished by your relationships? Are you making healthy choices?
You are what you eat, yes, but you are so much more.