Why do we eat? There are people who wish they didn’t have to (remember that Soylent startup? dear Heaven), but I’m not one of them. I have lots of motivation to eat. Here is some:
Pleasure: Eating is delicious! I eat for the sensory pleasure, for the taste of food, for the comforting feeling of being the right amount full, for the beauty of the colors and textures of food, the glorious scents - and of course the joys of tableware. Always that.
Connection: Eating is convivial. Sharing food and drink is both ceremonial and relaxing. Have you ever been to a social gathering without food or drink? I have. Just shoot me.
Health: Eating is nourishing. You only get one vitamin from the sun. The rest have to be ingested. Likewise all the other nutrients we need for processes like reasoning, reproducing, and choosing table linens.
But maybe most important, Fuel: Food is energizing. “Calories” is what we call the measure of energy in food. More calories, more energy. Energy is good and thus, calories are good. They’re kinda what we come for, when we sit down to eat.
(You are sitting down, right? So important for enjoyment and thus nutrient absorption.)
If you are a person that wants calories to feel welcome at the table, RESPECT! ADMIRE.
But if you are more like one of the many people I overhear every day speaking as if this or that non-food or near-food is good because it’s low in calories, or this other food is bad because it’s got lots of 'em, please consider replacing that cultural Kool-Aid with the idea that calories, essential to life, are a virtue. This simple change will relieve 8,000 pounds of useless guilt.