Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I’ve never given up anything for Lent. It just wasn’t a tradition that my family ever practiced. But this year, I’m giving it a shot. I take part in a weekly book group and our latest read has been a church publication called “Just Eating?” which deals with the connection between food and faith. It’s really well done and we’ve had some good conversations about everything from nutrition, to food as a sacrament, to hunger, to the environmental impact of food consumption. And through it all, the question being asked is: as a Christian, what should your attitude toward food be?

So when Lent rolled around this year, I figured it was time to participate. I decided to give up eating meat (except fish), largely due to the horrifying statistics about how much grain it takes to produce meat. Something appalling like 50 grams of vegetable grain go into producing 1 gram of beef. Of course, we don’t eat beef here—the articles are mainly aimed at Americans—but still, I was struck by the waste.

And I also felt that the year I’m living in a country where people are literally starving just down the road from me would be an appropriate year to make some kind of food-related sacrifice. So far it hasn’t been hard. Of course, I’ve only been meat-free for a week and 3 days of that I spent in an entirely vegetarian city. But I’m still proud of myself. The school cafeteria always provides veg options (though they’re often not great) so I won’t go hungry at work. And I’ve been looking up some good veg meals on the internet—things like potato enchiladas, veggie pot pie, and how to make good humus.

And it feels good. I like the awareness that being vegetarian brings to my eating. The discipline involved in knowing that I am not just free to chow down on anything I want. I may feel differently on day 35 when I’m having dreams about chicken wings, but for now I’m happy.


At 1:20 AM, Blogger Emily said...

Riblets. I knew it wasn't going to last when I started craving those terrible, processed McDonald's riblets.
Do you have cornmeal there? I have the best recipe in the whole world for a veggie pie, but it has a cornmeal and cheese and yogurt crust. Phenom, let me tell you.


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