The gastronomic cost of civilization

OC8WX0E0X3That bastion of journalism, Mother Jones, recently published an article about new evidence of racism and the decline of Western Civilization – the evil imposition of three square meals a day.

I won’t go through the entire convoluted argument here, but the idea is that humans were meant to eat when hungry, not regimented to eat at standard times.  And the foisting of this structured approach to eating was a racist act by Europeans against the American Indians.

Frankly, I think it was more the acceptance of reality, a practical adaptation to the modern world.

There likely was a time before the invention of the institution (school, office, factory, army, navy, marching band, baseball team) that people could pretty much wander about eating, sleeping, bathing or dancing whenever they liked.  But with a civilization, the things people do require a bit of coordination.

In fact, the need for coordination forced the invention of that symbol of modernity, the schedule.  And the schedule is what allows people to work, worship, learn and improve the world – together.

Of course, there are times when it feels wonderful to get away from the schedule.  To get away, I tend to go fishing.  But something I have noticed is that most fish eat early in the morning or as the sun is going down – they are on a schedule.

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