Hey! See those people sitting next to you at that restaurant? That café? That food court juice bar sushi joint? Ever notice what happens when their food order arrives?
...Food, mind you, that has (usually) been carefully planned, meticulously prepared, perfectly cooked, beautifully presented, food that has been sourced from the finest or at least most fascinating array of growers, butchers, manufacturers, tastemakers, plants and animals from all over the world?
Watch and be sort of... depressed. Many, even most Americans will barely glance at their plates when they land in front of them. It's true. From casual café fare to the fanciest gourmet meal, most will simply take one glimpse to make sure everything appears tolerable and not moldy, and then plow right into it, devour it, perhaps barely chewing, not even noticing what they're doing.
Have you ever noticed? It's sort of tragically rare to see anyone pause for more than a split second to offer deeper thanks, to appreciate any level of beauty, bounty, artistry, nourishment in their food as it hovers near their mouths and prepares to enter the human system. All too often, we just take it all for granted and devour. Hey, I do it, too. I'm trying to do it far less. Aiming for never. Aiming, in fact, for the exact opposite approach.
Not me, young Mark! When my Holy Trinity combination plate arrives, usually a taco, enchilada, and chile relleno (with arroz, frijoles, and tortillas de mais of course), I gaze at it in wonderment and often ask the waiter for a can of plastic spray and a plate hanger because it's a work of art and looks too good to eat and ought to be hanging on the wall next to the dogs playing poker and velvet Elvis. Then I calm down and go in face first, giving thanks all the while for the good things in life.