Sunday, 28 June 2015

Strawberry gluttony... my only explanation for picking 30 L of strawberries this week.  That's 70 bucks worth.  Or almost 50 pounds.

The gluttony started on the wagon ride into the picking fields.  The sight of so many ripe berries triggered ancient urges deep in my primate brain.  I very much wanted to pick every last strawberry on the entire farm. So they wouldn't be wasted?  To ensure I wouldn't starve this winter?  Because their juicy redness signaled their mother lode of sugars and nutrients? So I could spend my entire weekend processing them?  There's no rational reason for this urge, but it was powerful and it prevailed.

What was I thinking?  I wasn't.
There was a moment, several hours and dozens of strawberry mouthfuls into processing them, that I remembered my mindful eating practice.  In the face of such abundance, I tried to put myself in the mindspace of a state of strawberry lack.  I imagined enjoying a single, perfect, lusciously ripe and fresh strawberry in the dead of a Canadian winter, or in the middle of a camping trip, or while trapped in a processed food wasteland like a roadside service station.  How would I eat a single strawberry then?

I've been going deeper into my own mindful eating practice for the month of June (and I've been gardening and enjoying the outdoors and generally avoiding computers and not blogging).  There are many things that make this practice a challenge, and the biggest may be the wealth of food we are constantly immersed in.  I am surrounded by delicious, affordable, healthy food.  My home never lacks of food.  Just as familiarity breeds contempt, abundance breeds antipathy.  And mindless eating.

During my strawberry-picking frenzy I overheard one dad encouraging his kids to keep picking.  I love what he said: "You know what I think about when I'm strawberry picking?  I think about a day in January when I'm going to appreciate having these delicious berries."  Exactly!  I hope his January strawberry treat evokes a warm June day filled with sun and birdsong and a refreshing lake breeze.  Happy mindful eating, patient strawberry-picking dad!

1 comment:

  1. I think that you are maybe too hard on yourself. As humans we carry thousands of years of experience with feast and famine. Strawberries are a very precious and fragile crop. Your response to this current harvest: to make the most of it; to pick as much as you can; and to save it for the future seems exquisitely rational and mindful. Good work!


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