FAITH column

As a child, I got to experience eastern European food in my quasi-Orthodox Jewish home. Fortunately, this food was reserved for Friday night Sabbath dinners only as it was heavy on carbs.

I luckily stayed thin throughout my adolescence, but put on excess kilos in my 20s, indulgigng my penchant for calorific food.

As obesity dominates Australia with over $130 billion in medical costs for cardiac diseases, strokes, cancer and mental health problems among others, it could be argued people need to curb their cravings for foods such as hamburgers, hot-dogs or hot chips.

A senate inquiry is cureently investigating our obesity epidemic, with Australia spending more than $130 billion on cardiac disease, stroke, cancer and mental health problems, among others.

This obsession with food can be fatal, contributing to social malaise.

British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote in 1952 in “The Springs of Human Action”: “Undoubtedly, the desire for food has been, and still is, one of the main causes of great political events.”

Our populace needs to heed its increasing obesity while debating a sugar tax and discussing introducing education nutrition.

Floods and drought often wreak havoc with supplies, and poverty can lead to malnutrition and  starvation and malnutrition. Without food life cannot be maintained, so Ecclesiastes 9:7 exhorts: “Go, eat your food with gladness…”

Battling the bulge after such gladness, at 27 I revolutionised my diet for better health, devouring vegetables and fruit with meats and seafood, danced regularly and vigorously too, and within 18 months I shed 20 kgs without any slimming stratagems or deprivation of delicious desserts with moderation the name of my game.

Previously uninterested in creative cuisine, I embarked on a journey of discovery in the kitchen, realising how scrumptious healthy food could be. After forty years, I haven’t regained those kgs.

Preparing menus from other countries adapted from recipe books, TV shows, friends and my travels gave me  entre to the history, people and culinary traditions of many nations.

Good health does not mean jettisoning exotic taste sensation; good food enlivens life, especially when shared with others.

Food should be appreciated not as psychological comfort, a panacea for frustrations but as a means to good health.

Corinthians 11:29 wisely advises: “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgement on himself”.