Food should be treated with respect, since Our Lord left himself to us in the guise of food. His disciples knew Him in the breaking of bread. Dorothy Day, Selected Writings
If you are a Christian then food and eating are sacramental acts. Christ himself is the bread of heaven and the water of life. After the resurrection he was recognized in the breaking of bread, and in cooking fish on the beach. Before the resurrection, he turned water into wine at a wedding, and he was always in the middle of meals–normally meals with outcasts from society: prostitutes, tax collectors, and sinners. Food is sacred, and meals are sacramental.
I think this is the reason why the way our society treats food bothers me so much. It’s on the go, in a hurry, isolated, and soul-numbing. I ate at McDonalds earlier this week. But it wasn’t the typical ignore everyone around you, wolf your food down, and hurry onto your next appointment. The woman who sat down next to me struck up a conversation, and we had a very enjoyable meal. We both slowed down, took time to eat, took time to fellowship, and lunch was as it should be: a sacramental meal. I noticed the two people on the other side of me were talking as well. Introductions were made–one was from out-of-town, here to see Wicked. May be even amongst the impersonal busyness of our society, when we sit down to eat a meal, we instinctually know. We know this is a time to slow down, to enjoy our food, and to enjoy each other’s company. Sacrament is only a “hello” away.