Betty Fussell

Photo by Norman Jean Roy for Vogue, Aug '08

Sustaining the Heart and Body
Welcome to the world of food, looking at it, talking about it, thinking about it, cooking it, eating it, transforming it, while it maintains our bodies and sustains our hearts. What a wonderful world it is because it’s essential to our lives every single day, usually two or three times a day. Without it we would die.

And yet many of us Americans believe food kills us. Stupidly we make it an enemy — we say food makes us fat, ugly, sick, anxious, greedy, brutal, murderous. Hey, we’re humans who did not create ourselves nor the grounds of our condition. We embody the basic contradiction that we are born to die and that in order to live we feed on fellow creatures — plants and animals. It’s not food that does us in. It’s life.

So let’s treasure and pleasure it while we may, with all our senses flashing a red alert of joy. To look, taste, touch, savor — nothing does that better than sex but food. We all bring our individual and our communal meanings to the particular foods that we eat. So let’s share words, images, tastes together as we eat the past in the present and cherish each food as a gift.

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