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Why You Eat What You Eat by Rachel Herz

This book is a wonderful source of facts about what people eat, and why. It is well researched, sourced, and written. Food is more than a substance we eat with our mouths, it is also an emotional connection to our family, our culture and our whole world. It is also a spiritual connection to those things and our own soul too. In short – food is life. It’s my life. It’s your life. Without food we don’t exist for very long. Food is important!

One of the important things about food for restaurant owners is that it is about the feelings the customers have while they are in their restaurant. This book has a multitude of thoughts on the feelings associated with the infinity of variations of what food can be and become. Many of these go back to Charles Spence, a gastronomic guru whom I blogged about a year ago in Gastrophysics – The New Science of Eating. That book influenced the way I eat because it made more aware of the fact that I am a dabbler, a little of this, a little of that, with quite a few different items on the plate at one time. I like to have lots of variation in the flavors, the odors, the smoothness, the crunchiness, the weird patterns, and colors of my food. Once I became aware of my natural inclinations I was able to exploit them and help to enrich my particular lust for life.

One curious “scientific” discovery that I have felt but don’t remember ever verbalizing is that people who are involved with something that requires their emotional and moral effort become short-tempered with other people who fail to make those same efforts. That concept is discussed on page 278-81 under the sub-title “Green and Mean.” In that section, we discover that people who get active in a special kind of moral cleansing and moral superiority are ultimately bad for humanity. There forms a strange reaction from these people who pursue a moral high ground of ethical foods and ethical behavior. You must toe their line of rectitude or suffer their judgments, or those righteous people will project feelings of moral transgressions upon you.

There is a moral undertone to this book that is covered beautifully with what feels like underpopulated small scientific studies.