Food Literacy

Food Literacy

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It doesn’t matter how fast you run;
it does matter how slowly you eat.

Food is central to Torah and Jewish spirituality (the first use of the term mitzvah regards eating). Food is obviously both necessary for survival and an opportunity for pleasure. However, many of us overeat and most of us eat without mindfulness and appreciation. The result can become anything but a blessing.

USA stats . . . . . Israel stats

Obesity is a health risk and even life-threatening. Therefore, it is a battle very much worth waging. Consider the preventable diseases that are directly related to obesity:

  1. Diabetes (Type II)
  2. Heart disease
  3. Some cancers
  4. Complications in other diseases
  5. Back pain
  6. Knee pain

It is therefore a spiritual imperative to enable individuals to change their relationship with food (and lose weight in the process). Our Food Literacy Program provides six nodes:

  1. Torah – What do the Sages of Israel, ancient, medieval and modern, say about the philosophy (hashkafa) and practicality (hadracha) of fitness and health? What are the parameters of the mitzvah? A Torah-based approach that focuses on spiritual well-being as well as physical health and explores the importance Judaism places on healthy eating.
  2. Science – How can weight impact health? What is the evidence that it does?
  3. Support – How does one go about losing weight and keeping it off? What lifestyle changes are necessary?
  4. Jewish – Judaism often seems to revolve around food. How does one negotiate this cultural reality when trying to kick a fat and sugar addiction?
  5. Nutritious – Food recommendations that meet current nutritional wisdom & reduce risk of disease and chronic medical conditions.
  6. Delicious – There is a mitzvah (according to some) to enjoy this world. Make sure it’s tasty!

We are forming groups to meet weekly, discuss the Jewish and scientific sources, and help each other establish a healthier relationship with food and hunger, and their underlying spiritual lessons. For more information, see our Torah Health & Fitness site.

You may also enjoy our new book, Body & Soul.