Simple Menu vs Eating Materialism

May 22, 2013 in Simple Eating Blog by Lorilee Lippincott

Simple Menu - Minimalist Living - Simple Living - Home OrganizationImage: Suat Eman

 A few months ago while reading the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess I was hit with another area where we (as a society) are far from simple…. we sure don’t have a simple menu.

Not only are we hoarders… often letting things sit in packed cupboards or shelves for months/years, but we are also materialistic.

We are always running for the new, shiny, more expensive, bigger and better options.

Sure, we can talk about full clothes closets that take our time and money, but it is possible that our kitchens, menu, and the way we eat has become just as cluttered…

…or even more cluttered.

  • Do we need minimalism in our eating?
  • What should minimalist eating look like?

Is this going too far, or is it one of the most important areas of our life?

A Simple Menu vs Eating Materialism

In America we definitely don’t have a simple menu, instead we have a range of food available to us.  I love it.  When thinking back to what I miss about American, now that we are in China, I can think of many foods I would love to have.

In America when we are hungry we can choose from many American food options, but we also have food options from all around the world.  It is possible to eat Mexican one night, Italian the next night, Indian one night, Asian the next night…. and so on, and this is normal for us.

Not only that we have a huge mix of options for packaged foods and health foods.

Stores are packed with options, many different stores offer different options, than the internet offers a bunch more food options.  Combine that with different sizes, discounts, and different brands of the same products and just making basic food choices becomes a time and money challenge.

But it is food, and it really is important in our lives

So we collect lots of different items we like, or looked good at the store, or someone told us we need to try, or advertising convinced us about

….and still we often can’t figure out what to cook for supper at 5:00 :)

Food is an area I struggled with.  I think nutrition is very important for my family and I want them to have the best… so it seems excusable for this to take up lots of time in my live.

But what it if is just excess clutter making our lives stressful and keeping us from the things that matter in life?

  • Sure we need variety in our diet for nutritional value, but how much is enough?
  • Sure we need healthy options, but will there ever be a ‘perfectly healthy’?
  • Sure we need some fun treats, the love part of our diet, because food should be fun and enjoyable as well, but when is it enough?
  • Sure we need to find ways to save money with discounts and bulk on healthy options, but when does it end up a time and space clutter?

I am not sure I have the answer for these questions for you.  I think we may all have different answers.

But the point is, there is a limit.  We could all use a more simple menu.

There is a ‘good enough’.  There is a point where enough time, money, and energy resources have been put into the food area of our life and we can stop chasing for perfect.  We can be content with a simple menu.

This chasing a ‘perfect eating’ impossibility also causes us guilt because we have trouble keeping up with what is new – new opinions, net products, new health ideas.

….sounds a lot like clothes fashion doesn’t it?

Somehow in countries where we have so many food options and so many people have enough to eat we have turned this blessing into something else.

The Point

With food, as with every area of our house, minimalism helps us structure our environment so it can help us and be enjoyable for us.  There are foods we need – for health, and for varied nutritional value, and there are foods we love.  We can have a tasty and nutritious simple menu with these items.

Maybe if we focused more on eating these and not all the clutter, we could have a much simpler kitchen and meal time.

Thanks so much for reading! What do you think of the simple menu idea?