Tag Archives: Burlington

Eating as a Philosophy

The amount of food available has skyrocketed in the past couple of decades. Part of this has to do with the extent food to which food is processed as well as sheer diversity. Needless to say, the increase has resulted in more concern and anxiety around food (Lupton, 85). As I was sitting in City Market the other day conducting my observations I noticed a few customers that seemed anxious and unsure about their food purchases, however the large majority of shoppers seemed to be enjoying their experience. In fact, it seemed as if grocery shopping was a source of genuine pleasure for many shoppers. On several occasions shoppers would run into someone they know and talk for a couple minutes. Other times I would just notice a sense of happiness and contentment that seemed present from individual shoppers, couples shopping and even groups of friends shopping for ingredients together for that nights dinner.

According to Deborah Lupton, “for many people, eating has become a philosophy, a secular means of attributing meaning and value to everyday practices. This approach places a great deal of emphasis on the monitoring of one’s diet, to the point where it is believed that it is almost impossible to achieve and maintain good health (in its physical, mental emotional and spiritual senses) without exercising vigilant control over diet.” I believe the notion of eating as a philosophy is quite true true in a place like Burlington, which is known for it’s health conscious, physically active, environmentally responsible citizens. In other words, it makes sense that people put in the extra effort to eat responsibly here.

Many people, myself included, find it important to align their actions with their values. I realized this is what I see people do every week while shopping at the co-op. Having access to the space of the co-op and being able to shop their regularly is undoubtably a tremendous privilege, and one that I believe helps people align their actions with their values. Making informed, conscious food choices and watching others do so has been a great source of pleasure throughout my participatory observations. What about you guys- is food a philosophy for you?

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