Is enjoying food a sin?

Suppose you are hungry (read:gluttony is a separate issue), but instead of eating plain, unflavoursome food, you choose something more appealing taste wise. Is this a sin? Is it a sin to eat - at least partly - for pleasure?

Jesus didn’t tell the wedding feasters at Cana to drink water; He gave them wine. We can offer sacrifice to God and eat blander foods, like on Friday, but on the whole, as long as you are not consistently indulgent or malnourishing yourself, God wants you to be thankful for His gifts. Bon apetit! :thumbsup:

The way it was described to me made sense. If you enjoy your meal and are greatful to God for his Gifts its ok, but if you are constantly seeking new taste pleasures beware. :tsktsk:

God created food, God created it good, He created it pleasing to the senses in His infinite wisdom. Not to enjoy it is to demean His gift.

No it is not a sin to enjoy food. When we eat past the point of real physical needs then we have reached a point of gluttony.
Food should be appealing enough to desire.
Remember
Eat to live.
Don’t live to eat.

I would like to add to the post I made.
Today after a movie my DH and I went to the best greasy spoon in town. The food is great there but even though it was well past my lunch time I really was not hungry. My DH ordered a real good looking greasy plate and I ordered a cup of hot chocolate because I was a little chilled from the cold temps outdoors and I was thirsty.
Rather than order a plate to be social or because I wanted to devour flavors I ordered what I sensed my body really needed. This is not always easy to do. :wink:

[quote=contemplative]I would like to add to the post I made.
Today after a movie my DH and I went to the best greasy spoon in town. The food is great there but even though it was well past my lunch time I really was not hungry. My DH ordered a real good looking greasy plate and I ordered a cup of hot chocolate because I was a little chilled from the cold temps outdoors and I was thirsty.
Rather than order a plate to be social or because I wanted to devour flavors I ordered what I sensed my body really needed. This is not always easy to do. :wink:
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I couldn’t agree with you more! It is hard to fight the urge to get something when you know it is super yummy but not good for you.
This is a wonderful thread and something very important to think about. What a wonderful opportunity to focus on God and the true nourishment you need.

Contemplative-I would like to know what the best greasy spoon is in Rochester! Oh, and I guess we have to be ready for more of those “chilly” days, especially the ones with 6 feet of snow!

[quote=LynnieLew]I couldn’t agree with you more! It is hard to fight the urge to get something when you know it is super yummy but not good for you.
This is a wonderful thread and something very important to think about. What a wonderful opportunity to focus on God and the true nourishment you need.

Contemplative-I would like to know what the best greasy spoon is in Rochester! Oh, and I guess we have to be ready for more of those “chilly” days, especially the ones with 6 feet of snow!
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Jay’s Diner

nooooooooooo I don’t think we’ll be getting 6 feet of snow…
but I am not betting on it…we just put up 200 feet of snow fence along side the driveway :smiley:

Yeah stay away from places like Jay’s when you are not hungry…unless of course you want to be tempted into sin…

[quote=contemplative]Jay’s Diner

nooooooooooo I don’t think we’ll be getting 6 feet of snow…
but I am not betting on it…we just put up 200 feet of snow fence along side the driveway :smiley:

Yeah stay away from places like Jay’s when you are not hungry…unless of course you want to be tempted into sin…
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Oooh! Jays Diner! That IS a good one!
That is very close to my Parish too!

So interesting to find this thread this morning as it is an issue has been on my mind lately.

Is gluttony over-indulging your legitimate needs/desires or meeting needs with with “extravagent satisfaction.”

I’m not sure how to answer this yet. When hungry, you can fix yourself a turkey sandwhich from whatever you find at the grocery store and call it a day. Or you can buy the best quality fresh, organic turkey, the most wonderful artisan bread, veggies fresh from the farmers’ market, add an exotic aoili–and REALLY enjoy your lunch. Is that gluttony? Is being significantly overweight/obese, as I believe 40% of the adult population now is, a de facto sign of rampant gluttony?

What about what we drive? Where we live? What we wear? Is is “gluttonous” to buy a $60,000 Lexus when you can buy a perfectly good Honda for $25,000? Is it “sinful” to buy a million-dollar house when you can clearly function in one that costs a fraction of that price? Same with designer duds–can you spend hundreds for items dept. stores, discounters sell for considerably less? What about the workers whose products end up in the “luxury” market? Don’t their skills, time, higher quality materials and attention to detail, etc. deserve higher compensation than the assembly line alternatives?

This is not about gluttony, it is about enjoying/savouring food in general. Obviousely the body needs carbohydrates to survive, but isn’t enjoying the taste of food, even if the choice to eat is to satisfy hunger, a carnal enjoyment? We could all surivive and be healthy living on water, fruit, milk, vegetables, plain bread, yet we go to such lengths to make food appealing to the taste buds…so it’s sensual.

[quote=cynic]Suppose you are hungry (read:gluttony is a separate issue), but instead of eating plain, unflavoursome food, you choose something more appealing taste wise. Is this a sin? Is it a sin to eat - at least partly - for pleasure?
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Good grief…are we not supposed to enjoy anthing? There must be a reason we have taste buds in our mouth, it’s to enjoy food!
What about our other senses…are we not suppsed to look at the beautiful flowers and smell their wonderful aromas? Are we not to pet a furry rabbit, hear a symphony or look at an art masterpiece because we enjoy these things?

There’s a reason that food tastes good- we’re supposed to enjoy it. Everything in moderation. If you’re eating when you don’t need to simply because you want to enjoy the taste, then yes, that’s gluttonous. But if you’re hungry, it’s lunchtime, and you have your choice of plain bread vs. a smoked turkey reuben on toasted rye with homemade sauerkraut and melted swiss cheese…sorry, but I don’t think choosing the latter option is a sin.

You might think of it in terms of having more than one functional aspect. Sex, for instance, is meant to be both love-giving and life-giving. Because of it’s unitive aspect, it is enjoyable even when a couple is naturally infertile.

Food has two purposes, both pleasure and nutrition. The nutrition should be primary and the pleasure aspect a mere side benefit–most of the time. Many people point out, however, that the pleasure aspect of food contributes to community and friendship. Even at mass, we break bread together.

As Jen mentioned, the moderation point is key. If we use IO’s example…do we really need organic turkey on artisan bread with vegetables from the farmer’s market and oil and spices imported from European countries, etc…every single day? (As an aside…unless you shop at Wegmans where they have everything at your fingertips… ;)…does anyone really have time to go to the grocery store to buy the freshest meats and cheeses and then stop by the bakery for the gorgeous artisan bread and then run to the farmer’s market and buy the newest, most freshly picked vegetables and then dash off to the specialty store that sells the freshly imported oil or dressing–EVERY SINGLE DAY??! Probably not). Is it wrong to say maybe once a week, if finances allow and it does not take away from the family’s other needs nor their fair, charitable contributions? Might we also consider that some of us have special dietary needs that do not allow for preservatives or additives and therefore it is more of a “need” than “want” to buy organic? I think different circumstances apply here, and preference does play a role within reason.

Is buying a Lexus going to severely challenge my family financially or can we afford to buy a luxury car without also sacrificing charitable contributions, such as tithing fairly and fully to the Church and others in need?

Is being obese or significantly overweight a de facto sign of gluttony? Well, certainly for some but most definitely not for others. Generalizations don’t work to explain everyone’s underlying vice.

Whenever I’ve spoken to priests about this, they have always said that it is just and fair to use one’s hard-earned resources for both enjoyment and necessity. However, it is still imperative that one’s blessings are shared.

But anyway…no, enjoying food is not a sin, as long as the enjoyment does not become excessive and detract from nutrition. It is not nutritionally beneficial to eat pizza every night or ice cream for breakfast. Nor is it safe to eat fruit all day for each meal. Balance is a good approach.

tanks for your reply thats not really the question. Rather is savouring (not overeating) a sin because it is a carnal pleasure?
Budhists monks and Hari Krisnas for example, believe that food and drink should be unflavoured, unsweetened, to minimize the carnal enjoyment gotten from eating.

To enjoy food for the pleasure is not sinful so long as it does not go into gluttony. Before the fall the world was good, what was not good was the sin that came from the fall. The world and the things in it are not sinful, how we use them and our intentions are what makes the sin a sin.

[quote=contemplative]I would like to add to the post I made.
Today after a movie my DH and I went to the best greasy spoon in town. The food is great there but even though it was well past my lunch time I really was not hungry. My DH ordered a real good looking greasy plate and I ordered a cup of hot chocolate because I was a little chilled from the cold temps outdoors and I was thirsty.
Rather than order a plate to be social or because I wanted to devour flavors I ordered what I sensed my body really needed. This is not always easy to do. :wink:
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This makes sense phsyically too.

Weight loss and fitness occur most naturally when we portion our sizes and eat more frequently (all exercise aside for now).

Also, we eat healthier foods.

This is the opposite of gluttony.

Is it any wonder that excess (i.e. gluttony) is not only a sin that destroys spiritually, but destroys us physically as well?

The more you look at what God asks of us in all facets of life, the more it makes sense.

Just wish I’d listen more often :slight_smile:

Island Oak raises an interesting point by extending the discussion to other “consumables”. Or to other “pleasures”. (cars, houses, clothing)

Or to other “necessities” that can be taken austerely or with some degree or other of “enjoyment” or “pleasure” or “novelty”.

Or to other luxuries or to other activities… motorcycle racing, golf, sailing, boating, football,…, sex, …, hang gliding, flying (fixed wing, rotary wing, engineless), sports parachuting [jumping out of a perfectly good airplane]… art, music, theater, … reading, book buying, … computer games, Web surfing, … hunting, fishing,… model railroading, radio control planes, … collecting various things: match books, toothpick holders, …political debating, …

Does it matter or make any difference if we do these things alone versus doing them in association with other people?

This is a worthwhile discussion, I think.

And is it reasonable to be “judgmental”? To set hard and fast rules… to draw the line “arbitrarily” … to have someone who knows nothing about one activity or another draw a line about that activity?

There comes a point in time where it could :slight_smile:

http://home.att.net/~tom.wineman/fat-man-food.gif

[quote=Island Oak]When hungry, you can fix yourself a turkey sandwhich from whatever you find at the grocery store and call it a day. Or you can buy the best quality fresh, organic turkey, the most wonderful artisan bread, veggies fresh from the farmers’ market, add an exotic aoili–and REALLY enjoy your lunch. Is that gluttony?
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My idea is that stuff from the local economy is not really that bad to buy, like organic stuff at the farmers market. It keeps those local small-farmers or local artisans at work. It would almost be like going to a small store and spend more than going to Walmart.

Although I think I heard one idea is that your getting into gluttoney if you set out a meal and are far more intrested in the food and give no interest at being social.

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