Friday, June 17, 2011

The Calorie Queen

Reading 'Matched' by Allie Condie was fun.  It was easy, light and made for a nice break during the few days that it took to finish.  I didn't expect it to make me think. 

But so it did.  My brain is such that it didn't formulate its thoughts on this book until a few days AFTER our book club meeting.  I remember mumbling something to the girls about "why did this book make me think of  'The Wind Up Girl'?" (one of our recent book club reads), but then I couldn't pull my thoughts together under the heat of social pressure.

Now I've got my connections all sorted out, for your reading pleasure.  In 'Matched' everything in Cassia's life is controlled by the 'Society'; what she wears, where she lives, where she works, what she does with her free time, who she'll marry, how many kids they'll have, and also what and when she eats.  It was the eating part that I connected with 'The Wind Up Girl' (otherwise known as the book which shall not be named). In that futuristic book the world is controlled by those who control the food, which makes sense doesn't it?  If suddenly all food sources were wiped out and one select company had access to and control of a viable food source they could pretty much demand whatever they wanted and the world would have to acquiesce.

In 'Matched' the same thing held true, these people were afraid to rebel because if they did, what would they eat?  Their food was measured, counted and rationed out meal by meal.  The 'Society' knew if they didn't eat their specific portion and that incurred trouble.  You couldn't just store up a stash of PB&J or Clif Bars and head for the hills.  And that's one of the first whiffs of rebellion you get in the book, when it's discovered there are a few rogue people trying to quietly grow their own food without the 'Society' noticing.  Having your own food source equals independence.

So it made me think.  Do I take for granted all that freedom of choice I have, especially when it comes to food?  
Admittedly some food choices lead to regret . . .
Choosing my own food plays such a huge role in my life, I can't imagine how I would feel if it were measured out in doses like medicine.  Think about how many social activities revolve around eating - meeting for happy hour with friends, having someone over for a dinner party, cakes on special occasions, the comforting smell of whatever speciality your mama was known for.  Or our book club, food is always an integral part of a great meeting.  Caisse lightly mentioned the dinner she made for us based on this book - but don't let her fool you, it was awesome. The smells and tastes of a great meal, delightful and not always meaningful conversation with friends made for a perfect night.  All of that capped off with a giant slab of Caisse's chocolate cake that I ate every last crumb of.

So here's my plea to you, don't take your meals for granted.  Your wife, mother, sister, Fry-Daddy operator probably put a lot of careful thought and choice into what you're eating. Thank them heartily, and revel in all your delicious choices.  I know I will.


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