Friday, March 06, 2009

Food and Sex

Fascinating article by Mary Eberstadt, "Is Food the New Sex?" 

Just a couple of interesting excerpts:

"The opprobrium reserved for gluttony, for example, seems to have little immediate force now, even among believers. On
 rare occasions when one even sees the word, it is almost always used in a metaphorical, secular sense."

"Perhaps the most revealing example o the infusion of morality into food codes can be found in the current European passion for what the French call terroir--an idea that originally referred to the specific qualities conferred by geography on certain food products (notably wine) and that has now assumed a life of its own as a moral guide to buying and consuming locally. That there is no such widespread, concomitant attempt to impose a new morality on sexual pursuits in Western Europe seems something of an understatement. But as a measure of the reach of terroir as a moral code, consider only a sermon from Durham Cathedral in 2007. In it, the dean explained Lent as an event that 'says to us, cultivate a good terroir, a spiritual ecology that will re-focus our passion for God, our praying, our pursuit of justice in the world, our care for our fellow human beings.'"

"This junk sex shares all the defining features of junk food. It is produced and consumed by people who do not know on another. It is disdained by those who believe they have access to more authentic experience or 'healthier' options. Internet pornography is further widely said--right now, in its relatively early years--to be harmless, much as few people thought little of the ills to come through convenient prepared food when it first appeared; and evidence is also beginning to emerge about compulsive pornography consumption, as it did slowly but surely in the case of compulsive packaged food consumption, that this laissez-faire judgment is wrong."

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