The parsimonous interpretation of “eating (flesh; bread; ME)… drinking blood…” in John 6:26ff is provided by the context.
It is elementary: Eating Christ results in life; Believing in Christ results in life therefore Eating=Believing.
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that BELIEVETH ON ME hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life.
This interpretation of the phrases “eating my flesh…drinking my blood… eating the bread” is confirmed by the context:
John 6:51-65 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man BELIEVETH ON ME (eat of this bread), he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye BELIEVETH ON ME (eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood,) ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso BELIEVETH ON ME (eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,) hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that BELIEVETH ON ME (eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,) dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that BELIEVETH ON ME (eateth me,) even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that BELIEVETH ON ME (eateth of this bread) shall live for ever.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.